Bregenz Festival 2019
Even after more than 70 years as “Orchestra in Residence” of the Bregenzer Festspiele, the Wiener Symphoniker are still good for surprises. Such a surprise this year is without a doubt the cycle of all four symphonies by Johannes Brahms, as has not been experienced in such concentration here before. Philippe Jordan, incumbent Music Director of the Wiener Symphoniker until 2020, has come up with this focus which he will realise at two orchestra concerts on the 4th and 5th August within the framework of the Festival.
What can be expected is more than just a panting and potentially record-breaking Brahms marathon. This is because the world-famous conductor Jordan, together with his smart collective of Vienna musicians, will be far more concerned with a fascinating introspection of these gladly cultivated landmarks of orchestral romanticism from a present point of view. And he will try to also add to these late Brahms works something of the spirit of the period reigning over their premieres between 1876 and 1885. Given that this composer, from experience, is one of the absolute favourites of the Vorarlberg concert audience, there is no more need to ask the question “Do you like Brahms?”, from the famous film after a novel by Françoise Sagan, which has long been in common usage. Because it would be just a plainly rhetorical question with the answer already known as “What else!” or “Of course!”
Giuseppe Verdi "Messa da Requiem"
With the Italian Fabio Luisi, currently General Music Director of the Zurich Opera, a former Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker will direct the first orchestra concert as early as 22nd July. The Prague Philharmonic Choir will participate in the Festival for the tenth consecutive year, and Verdi’s monumental operatic Requiem will only be appropriate for the festive event. The musicians will also unfold their most superb sound this year in matters Italian by “playing on the lake”, again with Verdi. .
Surprisingly enough, his incredibly popular opera “Rigoletto” has never made the leap to the mass theatre of the lake stage at the Festival so far. There, a tough woman with the risk appetite and vision of Artistic Director Elisabeth Sobotka had to arrive first to help the long misjudged blockbuster achieve true Festival honours here, with predictable success. Enrique Mazzola, a long-standing friend of the Orchestra, who also conducted the designated house opera “Moses in Egypt” in 2017, will take the conductor’s stand.
Giuseppe Verdi "Rigoletto"
Jules Massenet „Don Quichotte“
What is left now as a special task is to present an operatic rarity at the festival opera house, which will be Jules Massenet’s “Don Quichotte”, this time an item of French late romanticism with a Spanish flavour. The composer brought Miguel de Cervantes’s famous literary figure of the “knight of the sorrowful countenance”, with its now faded fame, to the opera stage in 1910 and turned it into a touchstone for courageous operatic bass singers in the title role, featuring Feodor Chaliapin at the premiere.
„Wiener Symphoniker Day“
This year, the season in Bregenz will be opened yet again with the now traditional “Wiener Symphoniker Day” on 14th July.