A long overdue reunion
The first orchestral concert of this year's Bregenz Festival features a very special reunion. For the first time since November 2013, Fabio Luisi, the former Chief Conductor of the orchestra, will again be on the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker. It is no coincidence that this encounter will take place in Bregenz. From the very beginning, the city and its festival has played an important role in the relationship between conductor and orchestra. Luisi has conducted the Wiener Symphoniker 321 times since 1993, more than 50 times in Bregenz alone. It was here in the Festspielhaus in July 1993 that Luisi and the orchestra collaborated for the first time - for the performance of Umberto Giordano's opera "Fedora". The second collaboration took also place in Bregenz - in the following year for the production of Ricardo Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini. And when the Wiener Symphoniker elected Luisi unanimously as new Chief Conductor to follow Vladimir Fedosejev in 2005, the first joint projects took place again, of course - at the Bregenz Festival.
"The Wiener Symphoniker were great"
The program back then featured a work by the composer, which now also appears on the occasion of the reunion – and who represents another constant in the relationship between Luisi and Symphoniker: Giuseppe Verdi. More than 50 times his works were part of the program of joint concerts by the proven Verdi specialist and his former orchestra. By far the most frequently performed work is the "Trobadour", whose Seebühnen-production was conducted by Luisi as the newly appointed Symphoniker boss in both 2005 and 2006. But also the Requiem, this masterpiece of the oratorio concert repertoire, which will be heard in Bregenz this year, was already performed very successfully by Luisi and the Wiener Symphoniker: in June 2010 in the Wiener Musikverein. "Luisi was great: what a gift to be allowed to watch such a leader at work: this precision, this elasticity in terms of motivation and voice coordination!", wrote the enthusiastic critic of Der Standard at the time. And continued: "The Wiener Symphoniker were great: Having just returned from a two-week Far East tour, the Viennese acted with freshness, flexibility, accuracy and beauty of sound."
The reunion promises to be great again. And given that the artistic bar is so high, the anticipation can only increase.