Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:31am
What would be your ideal night in Vienna?
My ideal night in Vienna would be a wonderful evening hearing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven in what is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, the Golden Hall of Vienna The Musikverein.
The Golden Hall
Tell us about Vienna’s New Year’s Day concert tradition that this concert is inspired by.
The Vienna New Year's Concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is a concert of classic music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic that takes place each year in the morning of New Year’s Day in Vienna and is regarded by many as the most important classical concert worldwide. Each year tickets are highly coveted and the concert itself is broadcast live around the world to an estimated audience of more than 50 million in 93 countries in 2017.
It is inspired by the Viennese musical tradition that has continued for centuries, from one great composer to the next, from Haydn to Mozart, from Mozart to Beethoven, from Beethoven to Schubert and onward far into the twentieth century.
This concert features the music of the family of Johann Strauss, what are some of your favourite pieces and why?
One of the highlights of this concert will be On the Beautiful Blue Danube by Johan Strauss Jr and Lehar’s Gold and Silver Walt. These pieces are perfectly formed jewels like little symphonies themselves and really are works of art within themselves, 10-12 minutes of pure beauty for the ear.
Nicholas Carter. Photo by Anette Koroll
Why was Vienna such a vibrant city for music and creativity in Strauss’ day?
Vienna has been a crucible for music and the arts from the beginning of time and especially Whilst Strauss was at the pinnacle of his composing. Part of this can be attributed to his geographic location and sense of place within the Roman Empire. For many centuries, Vienna was the glittering capital of a great empire, the imperial court created an excellent and often lucrative environment for musicians and artists. It is thus not surprising that many great composers were attracted to the city – they came, stayed and wrote immortal music: Gluck, Beethoven and Brahms were born in other countries; Mozart, Haydn, Bruckner and Mahler hailed from within Austria. And the greatest truly Viennese opera ever composed, Der Rosenkavalier, was written by a Bavarian, Richard Strauss, who had never even lived in Vienna.
The City truly has its own sense of place and has always supported a unique culture in which artists met and freely exchanged ideas. It was a cultural melting pot and a city of ideas in the 19th and 20th century. It being a city of ideas allowed Johan to compose over 500 waltzes, polkas and plenty of other types of dance music. Over his lifetime he became known as the “Waltz King” and was largely responsible for popularizing the waltz in Vienna.
Soprano Jacqueline Porter will join the ASO; do you enjoy having a vocalist on several numbers?
Having a vocalist adds texture and another dimension to the music making. The texts give these beautiful melodies a narrative and directness. Jacqueline will sing four songs throughout the concert. I am most looking forward to hear singing Lehár’s The Merry Widow: Vilja Song she will add light and a beautiful lyricism to the performance.
Soprano Jacqueline Porter
Is this a more romantic/magical concert and why?
We hope the concert is both magical and romantic it will certainly bring a sense of the romance of the period and will capture the sense of the magic of the city that Vienna is.
Vienna is still a meeting place for music-lovers; do you hope that this concert will inspire some audience members to travel to Austria?
There will be no need to travel to Austria , audience members will be transported to Vienna and the magical city it is, no passport required all you need is a ticket to A Night in Vienna’ at the Festival Theatre.
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra presents Showcase Series 2: A Night in Vienna, Friday 21 & Saturday 22 July, Festival Theatre. For more information and to book tickets click here.
See below, Nicholas Carter and the ASO in rehearsal for A Night in Vienna