There’s a hell of a lot of music out there. But it seems like I’m always hearing the same Mendelssohn overture over and over. A look at concert schedules proves that this is because I actually am. Duplicate programming happens. A lot.
While hearing pieces performed by different groups in a short period of time can be fascinating, can’t we be more creative and get to know a wider variety of music? Here is a list of works that have been programed more than once by different groups solely over the course of September and October at five major venues in Vienna (the Musikverein, the Konzerthaus, the Staatsoper, the Volksoper, and the Theater an der Wien). Granted, Vienna has a larger musical output than most cities, but, seriously, guys. I cede the two performances of a Szymanowski violin sonata as a delightful coincidence but can’t we give poor Tosca a rest for a month or two?
The winner is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, performed by three different orchestras. Daaaa duh-duh daa da.
- Bartók, Concerto for Orchestra (Budapest Festival Orchestra, ORF RSO Wien)
- Beethoven, Sonata op. 27/2, “Moonlight” (Mitsuko Uchida, Gottlieb Wallisch)
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 (Orchestre National de France, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen)
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 (Wiener Philharmoniker, Tallin Philharmonics, Camerata Salzburg)
- Brahms, Symphony No. 4 (as my favorite symphony, nothing bad shall be said about this.) (Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Wiener Symphoniker)
- Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich)
- Chaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Wiener Symphoniker, Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich [both Musikverein, same week!])
- Mozart, Die Zauberflöte (Staatsoper, Volksoper)
- Puccini, Tosca (Staatsoper, Volksoper)
- Szymanowski, Violin Sonata op. 9 (Leonidas Kavakos/Elisabeth Leonskaja, Lidia Baich/Matthias Fletzberger)
Enjoy your galloping warhorses, folks! And your Szymanowski.
Sources: Published programs