Thursday, April 14, 2011

Strauss - the other one

In pole position poised above the 8th double bass, Sunday morning was the world famous Vienna Philharmonic. Like at the Riding School, photography is not allowed, presumably as it frightens the players, so these photos were all taken in the intervals.

vienna phil

In the first half of the concert, a little dumpy woman (Dame Gillian), did amazing things with the 4 console organ of the Musikverein. Our excellent position above the orchestra was luckily on the side of the hall that allowed us to watch her in action. The cadenza of Poulenc's organ concerto proved without doubt that her little silver court shoes were magical.  

vienna phil

In the interval people go outside, mostly to inhale smoke.

vienna phil

The concert hall is hardly an auditorium and I suspect that all the seats have some disadvantage. From our position, the percussion was perhaps not quite full volume, but how much percussion does one really need?

vienna phil

A lot apparently. In the second half, things got quite excessive. Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony requires an inordinate number of instruments. Apparently, as a child, Richard had a bad time in the mountains one day and got wet and cold and lost, but he survived to tell us all about it. James thought at 50 minutes it was rather a rushed mountain adventure. Does that mean we now need to sample one of Richard's longer works? 


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