The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall residency is nothing short of brilliant. They are embracing this opportunity to showcase their unparalleled ability to push boundaries and showcase its vast repertoire of Classical standards.
Known widely to be one of the top five orchestras worldwide, the Vienna Philharmonic lived up to this expectation with the most exacting glorious sound last Sunday (March 3). Nuanced with verve and flair abounding, conductor Ádám Fischer led the orchestra to fresh heights.
As one of the foremost interpreters of music from the Classical period, the Vienna Philharmonic's program consisted of Haydn and Mozart works. These composers are deeply rooted in the orchestra’s tradition, so hearing them perform them was a special occasion. It was exceedingly opulent in color, almost resembling the former royal courts where the music was first heard in the Imperial City.
Beginning with Haydn’s Symphony No. 97, the thrilling opening martial trumpets and drum fanfares are exciting to anyone who listens. One of Haydn’s 12 “London” symphonies, it is widely considered the supreme achievements of the composer who invented the Classical symphony. It captures a feeling of unprecedented confidence, grandness, and color.
Joining the orchestra, violinist Leonidas Kavokos confidently and effortlessly played a Mozart perennial favorite, the "Turkish" Violin Concerto No. 5. This work is one of Mozart’s most endearing early compositions, and considered the most international. Full of surprises, it contains elements and techniques from a variety of countries, such as Hungary, Italy, Germany and France. Kavokos sparkled in his interpretation and revealed a staggering fresh perspective.
As the final work before the two encores, the orchestra performed Mozart’s final Symphony, No. 41 “Jupiter”. Despite going through a tragic point in his life, this Mozart work is supremely life-affirming. It opens with great pomp, which is only a small part of the tremendous emotional range. It’s the most “learned” and technically clever of Mozart’s symphonies, but it is also one of the most emotionally vibrant and varied.
Unlike other orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic seemed to have uninhibited sound that billowed last Sunday. Maybe it was Carnegie's acoustics, but after hearing other concerts at this location, it seems more like it was simply the power of great artists doing great work. Carnegie Hall just added to their record of creating another spectacular experience.
Learn more about the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on its website.