Last night I could have been sitting in a concert hall in Vienna as I listened
to the mesmerizing Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
From the minute,the charismatic and celebrated conductor, Franz Wels-Most
walked on stage and began working his magic, everyone sat in awe. Each piece
had its own story and intensity.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is probably the most closely associated
with the history and tradition of European classical music. In the course of
its 171 year history, the mostly male orchestra with 4 female musicians travel
throughout the world. Their mission is to communicate the humanitarian message
of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners and it
certainly fulfills that mission.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst enjoys an exceptionally close and
productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently
leads two of the world's great cultural institutions as music director of The
Cleveland Orchestra and general music director of the Vienna State Opera. His
true passion is evident throughout the performance and I could have watched him
all night as he led the orchestra's every move.
The concert presented the music of Franz Von Suppe, whose Poet and Peasant
Overview which opened the evening with a combination of sizzling energy and
sentiment. We then moved into Richard Strauss's venue of love songs that
invited the listener into Strauss's unique world of sensuality and rapture. The
final pieces were Antonin Dvorak's Seventh Symphony, which is regarded by many
critics as his greatest piece of work and aspires to be a tragic Germanic work
that transcends Bohemian nationalism.
As I listened to the music, my favorite part occurred when Herbert Lippert,
a native of Upper Austria and former Vienna Boys Choir member began to sing. I
learned that he is one of the most sought after tenors of our time.He has won a
Grammy for his exceptional work and has performed frequently on the operatic
stage and in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra amongst many
others. His voice is beautiful and when I closed my eyes, I visualized sitting
in an Opera listening to his voice draw me in.
I would encourage anyone who loves and appreciates a symphony worth
remembering to get a ticket at Carnegie Hall. You will not be disappointed.
In summary,"The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which
Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the
creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the
heart, to the heart."