Friday, April 5, 2013

VIENNA SPECIAL: Musikverein mit Claudio Abbado & Alceste at Vienna State Opera (21. - 22.11.2012)

So ladies and gentlemen, my longing for a musical trip has once again took me to a strange land: Austria, specifically: Vienna. Two nights were all I got - and I did it good.

The first night is my time for the Golden Hall of Musikverein Wien. That night Abbado brought his ensemble of talented musicians of Orchestra Mozart to support him. Starts with Schumann's "Genoveva" Overture, Abbado shows that he's a black horse on podium. A very passionate conducting - thoughtful and precise.  

His Schumann's No. 2 are indeed very good. But not his best, perhaps? It seemed as it just went away so fast. Well, another interpretation is, I enjoyed it too much that I just went past it. 

After Beethoven's "Coriolan", the concert closes with Mendelssohn's No. 3 "Schottische" - magnificent.
Non-stop applause and flowers poured (not thrown - poured) on stage... never in Berlin. 

For my second night in Vienna I headed to the big old grand world-famous top-of-its-class State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). With a little generosity from the guy at the box office, I got a frist class ticket for only 40 Euros. Thank you, Sir. May you live prosper, now and forever...

Gens did a very wonderful job portraying the queen in Despair, Alceste herself. Very clear vocal, sympathetic acting - yet a brave portrait of a woman. Joseph Kaiser is on the other hand quite weird on stage. Due to his illness, he can't sing. A singer (name??? - I forgot) took over the vocal part, while he the acting. During the first part, Kaiser didn't even try to mimic the lyrics - in the second he did. Such a sore to the eye when such things happen to the leading role. 

Ivor Bolton for the win. Freiburger Barockorchester didn't only deliver the opera, they geared it up, making it even more beautiful and passionate. Also another plus point from the production, maybe?

Wien for the WIN. Can't wait until next time.

Abbado: 8/10
Alceste: 7/10

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