Booming canons: Duplicate programming watch

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.

The list:

  • 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
The photo

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  1. Hi LI,

    A quick post to recommend you NOT to miss one of the best world orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO). Bartók repertoire is their expertise but they are brilliant in everything they play.

    Royal Concertgebouw, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and BFO in live performances are always special.

    Thanks for the review of Semele. I was told Carsen would thoroughly redo his Zurich production, which would justify the label "new production". Well, new or not new, important is that you've spent a quality evening at TW 😉


  2. No worries, I already have my ticket for the BFO!!! I don't think I'm very good at writing about symphonic music so I'm not sure if I'll blog about it but I'm excited to go.

    My impression was that Carsen did not even stage Semele personally, because Elaine Taylor-Hall was listed as "Regie Einstudierung," but I'm not entirely sure if that's what that credit means. And I watched the DVD over the summer and didn't notice anything majorly different, though I think the Personenregie was somewhat better in Vienna.