Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011's in Wein

Things are looking up in Vienna right now. Franz Welser-Most still gets an unjust bum rap (Frankly Worse-than-Most) for being given the London Philharmonic in his late 20's when he wasn't ready. But he's now 50, and there isn't a living conductor more idiomatic in the Austrians (Mozart, Schubert, Bruckner, Second Viennese School, and perhaps Johann Strauss too by the looks of this concert), few more competent hands in the opera pit (the Zurich Opera has had a mini-golden age), or a less dogmatic champion of new music. We may be due to see the Vienna State Opera's greatest era
since its director was a nice Jewish boy by the name of Gustav Mahler. With all the chaos that seems imminent at all the other world-beating opera houses (La Scala in Milan, Royal Opera in London, the MET in NYC), it may not be long before FWM and the Vienna State Opera set the standard for the world.

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