Performance Saturday, March 2, 2013 | 8 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Today, Franz Schubert is one of Vienna’s favorite sons, but he was ignored by all but a small group of music lovers during his lifetime. His Sixth Symphony received its premiere at a house concert back in 1818; this season, hear it performed at Carnegie Hall by none other than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Also on the program are Richard Strauss’s madcap musical depiction of an incorrigible trickster and Jörg Widmann’s Lied.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor


  • SCHUBERT Symphony No. 6
  • R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

  • Encore:
  • J. STRAUSS JR. Kuss-Waltzer, Op. 400


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In the course of its 171-year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch that-thanks to an abundance of gifted composers and interpreters-must certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the Vienna Philharmonic's extensive touring schedule, prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow the orchestra's artistry to be experienced around the world.

    The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Brahms counted himself a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together with the orchestra through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than one and a half centuries, this chosen path of democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the orchestra has been giving benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 1999, makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's concert to a variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization. As of November 2008, Rolex is the worldwide presenting sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    Franz Welser-Möst

    One of today's most celebrated conductors, Franz Welser-Möst leads two of the world's great cultural institutions as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra and general music director of the Vienna State Opera.

    The 2012-2013 season marks his 11th year in Cleveland, and in 2008 his contract was extended until the orchestra's centennial year in 2018. With The Cleveland Orchestra, he has built close relationships with Carnegie Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, and the Lucerne Festival. Recent seasons have also included residencies at the Salzburg Festival and at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Since 2007, Mr. Welser-Möst and the orchestra have held an annual residency in Miami, and in 2011, they began a biennial residency at the Lincoln Center Festival.

    Since 2010, Mr. Welser-Möst has served as general music director of the Vienna State Opera. His long partnership with the company has included an acclaimed new production of Wagner's Ring cycle with director Sven-Eric Bechtolf and critically praised new productions of Hindemith's Cardillac, Janáček's Katya Kabanová and From the House of the Dead, and Verdi's Don Carlo. In 2012-2013, he leads, among other performances, new productions of Ariadne auf Naxos and Tristan und Isolde, and a reprise of the Ring cycle.

    As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst enjoys an exceptionally close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013, he had the honor of leading the orchestra's celebrated New Year's Day Concert for the second time in three years, and the CD recording of his appearance in 2011 has reached double-platinum sales status. He has also performed with the orchestra at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, the BBC Proms, Suntory Hall, in the Sommernacht concert on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, and on a regular basis in the orchestra's subscription series at the Musikverein.

    Mr. Welser-Möst has guest-conducted all the leading orchestras in Europe and the US. He was music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990 to 1996, and led the orchestra and ensemble of the Zurich Opera as general music director from 1995 to 2008.

    More Info


R. Strauss's Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Richard Strauss, Conductor
Preiser Records

At a Glance

Two comic masterpieces bookend this program of music from different eras of the Austro-German tradition. Franz Schubert's Sixth Symphony—one of his most scintillating pieces—references Rossini and Beethoven, but sings in its own distinctive and witty voice. Although nicknamed the "Little" C-Major Symphony, it makes full-sized demands on the players. In turn, Jörg Widmann's Lied references Schubert, especially his "radical singing," but in a contemporary idiom colored by clusters and surreal juxtapositions. Widmann is one of several recent composers who have used Schubert as an inspiration. Although his piece is atmospheric and slow, it requires considerable virtuosity from the orchestra. The concert closes with Richard Strauss's Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), a concise but wildly colorful tone poem based on the exploits and death of the legendary medieval rogue. Although basically a comic piece, Till Eulenspiegel has its own startling juxtapositions, moving abruptly from the prankish to the sinister.
Program Notes
This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

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