A fabulous celebration at the turn of the year
When the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Wiener Symphoniker invite you to welcome the end of the year together, this can hardly happen in a more festive way: The orchestra will musically pop the corks with Ludwig van Beethoven’s triumphant Ninth Symphonie in one of Vienna’s most beautiful halls – a fabulous celebration at the turn of the year, with no shortage of top-class guests.
Under the direction of Music Director Designate Andrés Orozco-Estrada who, since his appointment to the conductorship, will give his first concert with the orchestra in Vienna, the Wiener Symphoniker together with the Wiener Singakademie choir will perform this opus which like no other is associated with joy and festivity. The New Year will be welcomed with the sounds of the breath-taking final movement at the latest, whilst at the same time the old one is passed in review in the mind’s eye. Beethoven’s last symphony is packed with strong feelings, from longing through to ecstasy, from highest tension through to exultant happiness.
In spite of its captivating radiance, the opus triggered not only positive reactions at the time of its first performance. Guiseppe Verdi criticised the finale as “poorly set”, and his colleague Louis Spohr even thought the fourth movement was “so monstrous and tasteless and so trivial in its perception of Schiller’s Ode”, that he “is still unable to comprehend how a genius like that of Beethoven could write it down at all”. Beethoven had to put up with quite some criticism and there were many voices questioning the use of voices in symphonies.
Nevertheless, the Ninth Symphony is today considered a key work of classical music. Richard Wagner opined that “the Ninth Symphony is the release of music from its most immanent element towards general art. It is the human gospel of art for the future.” Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was ground-taking for the symphonic works of the 19th century, and monumental works such the symphonies of Mahler, Bruckner and Brahms would not have been conceivable without it.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who has held the position of Chief Conductor of both the hr–Sinfonieorchester and the Houston Symphony Orchestra since the 2014-15 season, will be surrounded by a brilliant cast of singers at the year-end concerts.
Among them will be two of the most exciting newcomers of the last years: The aspiring soprano Regula Mühlemann, who over recent years has made some spectacular debuts at houses such as the Berliner Staatsoper, the Opéra national de Paris, or the Theater an der Wien, and the equally young and promising mezzo-soprano Dorottya Láng, who started her career as an ensemble member of the Wiener Volksoper opera house and has since worked with conductors such as Kent Nagano and Teodor Currentzis. They will be joined by the tenor Steve Davislim, who has long been no stranger to European concert stages, and the Austrian bass Florian Boesch, who not only regularly draws rapturous applause as a song interpreter but has also made a name for himself as a concert singer internationally.
And so, the signs are good: If a year is seen off in such a brilliant manner, the following year can actually be nothing else than just fantastic.