Monday, 18 June 2012

Hellsberg’s Angels announce 2012-13 season

What better time to unleash that monstrous pun than the week in which the Wiener Philharmoniker announce they will be playing more music by dead white men.

Let us begin with the subscription and soirée concerts:

September – Brahms doesn’t get much play in these parts so Gatti is conducting symphonies 1 & 3 on the 22nd and 23rd, and 2 & 4 on the 25th.
October 20th & 21st – Schumann’s oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri! Do go to this fab piece (the recent Zürich Genoveva DVD got me hooked on neglected Schumann). Rattle conducts.
November 3rd & 4th – Muti has programmed some Cherubini, Schubert 6, and Honegger’s second symphony for strings and trumpet ‘ad lib’. Or as Muti has already reassured the soloist, ‘wie gewohnt’.
November/December, 30th-2nd – Bychkov and the Labèque sisters with the Tannhäuser prelude, Mozart concerto for two pianos, and Chaik 5. Mozart after Tannhäuser? Well, why not.
January 11th-13th – Prêtre with Beethoven 7, the Firebird, and Boléro. When it comes to thematic programming the Philharmoniker doesn’t do subtle, you see.
February 16th-17th – So Vienna neglected native son Herbert Lippert for years but now some critics (cough Peter Dusek) somewhat fancifully want him to tackle the big Wagnerian tenor roles. Returning to earth, Strauss Lieder seem about right. FWM conducts those, a von Suppé curtain raiser, and Dvořák 7.
March 16th & 17th – Mehta, Bruckner 8. It’s not heartening to see this symphony entrusted to a conductor in the twilight of an unspectacular career. Then again, there is every hope he might possibly do this.
March 23rd & 24th – Maazel, Alpensinfonie/Chant du Rossignol/Poème de l'Extase. Ditto, minus the ‘hope’ part. I love these works too much to go to this.
April 6th & 7th – well goodness me, if it isn’t MTT with Schoenberg’s op. 43. Oh wait, NOOOO!!! As a reward for the uncomplaining Wiener there’s double Brahms to follow. That’s the air of another planet gone… and choked by the second piano concerto (Bronfman) and Schoenberg’s arrangement of the op. 25 piano quartet.
April 19th – The Phil performed Beethoven 8 under Christoph Eschenbach as recently as last October and he enjoyed it so much he’s back to perform the same piece over again. Either that or Esch sold his soul to Hellsberg and has to conduct it every year for the rest of eternity. This goes alongside – or not, as the case may be – Hindemith’s exuberant Symphony in E flat and Matthias Pintscher’s Hérodiade-Fragmente (with soprano Marisol Montalvo). I haven’t heard this work-after-Erwartung before but it sounds potentially brilliant.
April 27th-28th – Jansons with Haydn, Liszt and Bartók, already mentioned here.
June 5th – Salonen, with the Chaik violin concerto (Julia Fischer), Ma mère l'Oye, and Francesca da Rimini (the Chaik). Read to the end of the post and you will see this is operating on the Brahms’s quid for Schoenberg’s quo basis.
June 7th – the Double Concerto – yes, that’s more of the big bad B – with Phil concertmaster Volkhard Steude, and Peter Somodari. Tugan Sokhiev also conducts the Symphonie fantastique. There’s also another interesting Sokhiev/Berlioz Musikverein programme here.

Now, unless you’ve waited in line for up to fourteen years or can prove you’re descended from Brahms’s secret love child, it won’t actually be possible to book tickets for these concerts (though for four of the programmes there are repeat non-subscription performances: Muti, Mehta, Jansons, Sokhiev). However, seeing as Anna Netrebko hasn’t been announced as a soloist it should be possible to get seats PROVIDING you take a last-minute chance. At 9:30 Monday in the week of the concert call the Phil’s box office on +43 1 505 6525. (That’s a premium rate line, but what did you expect?). Anyway, it once connected there
’s hope for your wallet – available seats are not always in the top price categories, and when I’ve asked at the office, they’ve offered seats with decent sightlines as low as €25 (where the equivalent price category were the promoter to be the Musikverein itself would be more expensive). 

Seats on this basis are possible 90% of the time, if maybe not always for €25. If you’re after pocket-friendly certainty then the standing room is your friend. These tickets cost €5 and can only be collected from the Phil’s office on Kärtner Ring 12. They don’t always sell out, though if you don
’t like taking chances this is best done on Monday (weekday opening hours: 9:30-15:30). For advice on how to navigate the Musikverein’s standing room system, check out Zerbinetta’s handy guide.

So, now for the concerts you don’t need Philharmoniker loyalty points to get in to:

September 12th, Theater an der Wien – this, confusingly, is not the TadW’s annual Eröffnungskonzert. Vladimir Jurowski conducts Messiaen’s orchestration of L’Ascension and Chaik and Schumann Manfreds.

November 11th-12th, Konzerthaus – Chopin and Chaik first piano concertos; Barenboim plays, Daniel Harding conducts. The upbeat to Barenboim’s 70th and thus billed as ‘Jubiläumskonzerte’. (Plans seem to have been for an actual Jubiläumskonzert in Berlin, though a number of things listed on this page aren’t happening. Like Daniel Harding’s new career as a concert pianist.)
November 18th, Musikverein – Andris Nelsons conducts Verklärte Nacht and Chaik 6.
November 25th, Konzerthaus – Nelsons again for this one. Joined by Grimaud, who performs the second piano concerto by, oh stuff it, I’m out of weak gags. Beethoven 5 follows.
December 12th, in the Augarten – Welser-Möst conducts Haydn’s C major Te Deum, and that’s all the information the Philharmoniker is giving you. It surely can’t be open air on a Wednesday morning in the middle of winter. A Sängerknaben thing maybe? Perhaps an opening event for their controversial new concert hall.
December/January, 30th-1st, Musikverein – New Year’s Concert with FWM
. This is the time of year I flee to England to escape triple time. (Also, forget getting a ticket).
February 13th, Musikverein – FWM conducts the Berg violin concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann! This, all FWM skepticism aside, could be a good one. The thing rides on Zimmermann, of course. Bruckner 4 follows.
May 3th, Theater an der Wien (Osterklang) – Salonen conducts his and Beethoven’s violin concertos, with Julia Fischer. Overture is Leonore no. 2 (what else?). The Phil absolutely detested E-P’s piano concerto so I am very much enjoying the Schadenfreude that it came as a twofer.
May 11th-12th, Konzerthaus (Wiener Festwochen) – well, they’ve let Minkowski in. It had to happen sometime. But Gluck, Haydn and the Eroica is nothing, check out the WTFery of this and THIS.
May 25th-26th, Konzerthaus (Wiener Festwochen) – Sakari Oramo conducts the Austrian premiere of Per Nørgård’s Eighth Symphony. This makes three works by living composers in the season, so holding steady. There’s also some Lutoslawski and the Sibelius violin concerto with Hilary Hahn.
May 30 – Schönbrunn Sommernachtskonzert with Maazel.

That last one is free, links to promoters for all the others can be found on this page.

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