Thursday, 31 May 2012

This is the way the season ends

I have tentatively decided for 3, 5, 6 and 8 on the grounds that they are tend to be the least performed, not to mention the least well-performed; a Bruckner marathon interests me no more than non-stop Mahler did this time last year (as good as some of it was). I write, of course, of Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, whose Bruckner/Mozart juggernaut continues with all nine symphonies (in numerical order) at the Musikverein between the 7th and 17th with only two nights off. The Wiener Philharmoniker perform their Festwochen duty with Mehta’s Gurre­-Lieder this weekend, and return with Rattle on the 14th with a Brahms, Webern, Schumann programme which will later tour to England, France and Slovenia. Their annual Schönbrunn Sommernachtskonzert, this year with Dudamel, let us pass over in near silence… Also at the Musikverein this month: Mozart, doubtlessly clipped into oblivion, courtesy of Harnoncourt and the Concentus; Elisabeth Leonskaja’s Emperor concerto with Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos and the Wiener Symphoniker; a Viennese stop for the Vengerov comeback tour; the Webern Symphonie Orchester’s annual Musikverein gig, this year with Kirill Petrenko; a Robert Holl Liederabend; and tomorrow, to mark um, 142 years of the Brahms Saal, a recreation of its inaugural concert.
The Dream of Gerontius is kind of a biennial thing now in Vienna and after its last (somewhat mixed) outing with the Wiener Phil and Rattle, the Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Singakademie and veteran Elgarian James Judd come right on schedule at the Konzerthaus (the 5th and 6th). Elgar used to be somewhat of a wissenschaftlich second string so I’ll be writing about this elsewhere; these performances also held out the prospect of drastic times with the Heppster, but he cancelled and is replaced by Michael Fabiano. Cornelius Meister and the RSO Wien end the season on an even more obscure note with Jaromir Weinberger’s Wallenstein in concert on the 15th, and for a baroque operatic rarity there’s J. C. Bach’s Zanaïda with David Stern’s Opera Fuoco, this Sunday. The excellent Im Loth contemporary series comes to a close on Monday with pianist Siegfried Mauser and a programme of Rihm, Henze and Dusapin; on the 17th and 19th András Schiff and Lars Vogt give Klavierabende (Vogt’s is the last in this year’s Thomas Larcher cycle). Talking of Larcher, Mark Padmore gives another Liederabend on the 21st with this intriguing programme.

The Wiener Staatsoper perfunctorarily, because it’s, well, the Wiener Staatsoper: an FWM-led, Daniele Abbado-directed and star-studded Don Carlo is the last premiere of the season on the 16th; two more performances of Gruberova’s Roberto Devereux remain (5th and 10th); FWM does his equivocal thing to Tosca once more (on the 4th, Karel Mark Chichon takes over for the rest of the mini-run); J-L Martinoty’s Figaro returns, for which I might steel myself; Harry Kupfer’s Elektra gets its annual outing with Linda Watson, Anne Schwanewilms, and house Klytämnestra Agnes Baltsa;  and a Damrau/Beczala Lucia finishes the season. The Theater an der Wien is dark this month aside from two remaining performances of Deborah Warner’s Traviata on the 2nd and 5th. I never did write that promised post about the Wiener Festwochen, but nothing so far has really gripped me apart from Peter Handke’s new play, outside of this blog’s remit; there is one more performance of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett tomorrow which I will be going to.

The Stromschiene series at the Alte Schmiede reaches its culmination this weekend with diverse events you can see listed here; I will make it to their triple bill on Saturday evening and dip in and out of the accompanying symposium as time permits. Contemporary happenings elsewhere include Helmut Lachenmann in residence at the Arnold Schönberg Center this month (a lecture and some concerts are listed here); this year’s Grenzwort programme, which continues on the 8th and 15th in Subterrarium’s Friday night slot (I went last week and was impressed); three more events in the Ruprechtskirche new music series (not as consistent as the Schmiede, but occasionally interesting); and friend of this blog Tomasz Skweres, who has a Musikverein event on the 12th. And yes, Lydia Lunch actually is in town at the moment.  

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