Author Archive | Jens F. Laurson

Tearing Through Wet Cardboard: Calixto Bieito & Christian Gerhaher Take On Elijah In Vienna

Vienna, February 20, 2019—For opera that’s lightly coated by the dust of centuries, Vienna’s State Opera House is just the thing: A marvel of a musical museum with mainstay works in workmanlike productions and with – all too often – surprisingly shoddy musical contributions. Anyone looking for musical theater with a pulse in the Austrian […]

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Drums and Dances: Gothenburg Symphony’s Viennese Outing

The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (or Göteborgs Symfoniker; @GbgSymfoniker on Twitter and @goteborgssymfoniker on Instagram—our social media service; you’re welcome) has been on a two-week tour of Europe with two and a half programs and its newish, young chief conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali. The tour, which started in Stockholm and ends in Salzburg on March 1, is—along […]

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New Home For Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra

Amsterdam; January 15, 2019—Previously, when the musicians of “The World’s Best Orchestra”—a.k.a. Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra—wanted to practice outside the scheduled orchestral rehearsals at the actual Concertgebouw (Amsterdam’s famous shoe-box 1888 concert hall), they had to find their own place to do it; often renting space nearby. That’ll come to an end on January 19 […]

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Film and Recital: The Quatuor Ébène in Vienna

Vienna, Musikverein, October 10, 2018—Orchestras have gotten better and better over the last 100 years (the time frame we can reasonably judge). Choirs have gotten audibly better every decade, too. But perhaps nowhere has the improvement—technically and expressively—been more astounding than in the field of string quartets. In the past, the outstanding ensembles stood out […]

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World-Premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s Die Weiden: Opera from the Echo Chamber

The Vienna State Opera, better known as one of the foremost museums of opera, staged a world premiere–the first in eight years–on Saturday, December 8. The Tyrolian Johannes Maria Staud, steadfast contributor to Wien Modern and collaborator with the Klangforum Wien, had been asked to write the work and turned to German poet and essayist […]

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Bamberg Symphony Opens Season With Panache

On paper, the season-opening concert of the Bamberg Symphony on September 28 was a winner unheard and unseen, before it ever took place: György Ligeti’s Atmosphères, Bohuslav Martinů’s First [sic!] Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann, and a newly arranged orchestral suite from The Cunning Little Vixen as the main course. Sign me up! Indeed, […]

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Concert For Peace, Vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, August 2, 2018—(Manfred Honeck, European Union Youth Orchestra, Thomas Hampson (baritone), Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone), Maria Nazarova, Cornelia Horak (soprano), Iris Vermillion (mezzo-soprano), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno). Easy to overlook or underestimate, a recent “Concert for Peace” at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s cathedral–sounding half hackneyed, half like a tourist trap–turned out to be […]

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