Vienna would have gone with a safe pair of hands like Adam Fischer. This weekend was also a busy one for the agents of younger conductors. Instead Alexander Pereira has opted for the somewhat bolder choice of Christoph Eschenbach, a figure one usually thinks more of as an orchestral conductor but who is a great deal more interesting than Welser-Möst and, just as crucially, who knows how say open sesame to the Vienna Philharmonic. Pereira adds in his press release that Eschenbach and Bechtolf have been good friends for many years, also commenting that 'having heard outstandingly sensitive Mozart interpretations from Christoph Eschenbach throughout recent years, I am convinced that the cycle is in excellent hands.'
The news, released a few hours ago, has buried an APA interview FWM gave yesterday, in which he revealed he had no written contract for the Mozart cycle.
When there is a story about Thielemann and Salzburg, the Austrian press usually run the famous photo of him as a ruddy-faced youth playing the piano to Karajan. Esch can do one better than that: