Saturday, 3 November 2012

What’s good for the goose is good for the Wiener

Every local has their opinion about where best to eat it, but in my experience Martinigansl (in season this month) doesn’t tend to vary too much from place to place: half a carcass swimming in Rotkraut with a Knödel or two for extra ballast and your goose is cooked gans gut, as the thigh-slapping German pun goes.

The half of the Wiener Staatsoper’s flock that migrated to Japan last month is slowly heading back west and the operatic roast am Ring is still mostly turkey: much ballet and the dilapidated Rennert Barbiere which was Holender’s schedule filler of choice, three Domingo Boccanegras, more de Billy/Jaho Traviatas, and undying Wiener nostalgia for Neil Shicoff’s Cavaradossi. November’s big revival is a Rutherford/Botha/Eröd/Young outing for the Schenk Meistersinger, while double Gluck is kein Zufall for the month’s new productions: the Staatsoper’s Alceste, starring Véronique Gens and Joseph Kaiser, is directed by Christoph Loy and conducted by Ivor Bolton, and Iphigénie en Aulide, with Bo Skovhus, Michelle Breedt, Myrtò Papatanasiu and Paul Groves, continues Torsten Fischer’s Gluck series for the Theater an der Wien. The Wiener Symphoniker plays the TadW and the Freiburger Barockorchester the Staats; komisch.

Also at the TadW this month are concert performances for two touring shows: Joyce DiDonato’s Drama Queens on the 11th and the countertenorfest that is Vinci’s Artaserse on the 20th with Jaroussky, Cencič and the Concerto Köln. The Kammeroper is dark this month apart from four remaining performances of La cambiale di matriomonio.

At the Musikverein, Mahler is back on the menu with an Auferstehung this evening to conclude the Pittsburgh SO’s residency and, on Sunday, the Third from the Bruckner Orchester and Dennis Russell Davies. The Linzer return on the 11th with Schubert and Balduin Sulzer, an Upper Austrian priest and prolific composer whose music generally gets more performances than it deserves from Russell Davies. The Tonkünstler appear on the 9th, 10th and 11th with principal guest conductor Michail Jurowski and the Dvořák cello concerto (soloist Clemens Hagen, as in the Hagen Quartet) followed by Glazunov’s ballet music for Petipa’s The Seasons, and again on the 22nd and 25th with the Brahms Double (Renaud Capuçon, Daniel Müller-Schott) and the Symphonic Dances. Alan Buribayev conducts. The Wiener Symphoniker and their beloved Georges Prêtre offer Beethoven 4, the Rosenkavalier suite and La Valse on the 14th, 15th and 17th, and return on the 24th and 25th with Noseda conducting the Isle of the Dead, Rhapsody of a theme of Paganini (Khatia Buniatishvili), and Beethoven 5. It is the Musikverein’s turn to host the concluding concert of Wien Modern on the 16th and the RSO Wien’s focus remains contemporary for their next concert on the 23rd (the premiere of a piano concerto by Miroslav Srnka, with Cornelius Meister and Nicolas Hodges). Members of the RSO also put on an Exilmusik concert in the Brahms Saal on the 28th. The Concentus and Harnoncourt round off the house’s bicentennial celebrations with Mozart’s version of Handel’s festive ode Alexander’s Feast on the 28th and 29th. Abbado and the Orchestra Mozart (Schumann, Beethoven, Mendelssohn) on the 18th, 20th, and 21st are not to be missed; November’s other visiting orchestra is the St Petersburg PO with Brahms and Shostakovich on the 26th and Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Dvořák on the 27th. Soloists for the two nights are Nelson Freire and Arabella Steinbacher, and Yuri Temirkanov conducts. The only recital of note is Christoph Prégardien on the 17th and 19th; on the 22nd the Kopelman Quartet are joined by Elisabeth Leonskaja for the Franck Quintet.

This month is a busy one for our beloved Wiener in both Vienna’s major houses: an indisposed Muti sees Tonkünstler chief Andrés Orozco-Estrada make his Philharmoniker debut this afternoon, tomorrow morning and Monday with a mostly unchanged programme save for the addition of a Stravinsky violin concerto from concertmaster Rainer Honeck which I suspect comes from here. At the Musikverein, Andrís Nelsons conducts Wagner overtures and Chaik 6 on the 17th and 18th; at the Konzerthaus, Brahms (with Grimaud) and Beethoven 5 on the 25th. Bychkov is in town for his 60th at the end of the month with more Chaik, another Wagner overture, and the Labèque sisters. Also celebrating a Wiener birthday is Daniel Barenboim, at the piano for first concertos from Chopin and Chaik at the Konzerthaus on the 10th and 11th. Daniel Harding conducts.

A Mozart piano concerto from Maria João Pires should be enough to lure you to the same place on the 7th or 8th; the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Robin Ticciati also perform the Siegfried Idyll and Beethoven 6. The Wiener Symphoniker under Fedoseyev perform Shostakovich and Weinberg on the 20th and 21st, and the Grubinger circus rolls into town with the Camerata Salzburg in tow on the 26th. Solo and chamber highlights this month include Ingolf Wunder on the 13th, Florian Boesch on the 19th, Yuja Wang on the 29th, and Salzburg prices for Netrebko’s Iolanta on the 30th.

Not listed here are all the Wien Modern events at these venues and other places; dates and details can be found for that here. As always, the Alte Schmiede has events worth checking out, while LUX, a Schmiede ensemble in residence, performs Georg Friedrich Haas’s Third String Quartet at St. Ruprecht tomorrow night. There’s more contemporary music at all the usual fringe venues, but my recommendation is to make the most of Wien Modern while it’s on. For those after something different, the 9th annual KlezMORE festival starts today and runs for the next two weeks.

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