Saturday, April 11, 2015

Zubin Mehta takes his audience in Vienna New Year 2015 concert

Zubin Mehta 2015
image Wiener Philharmoniker

"The Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert took place under the baton of Zubin Mehta on January 1, 2015, in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. The Philharmonic's Honorary Conductor Zubin Mehta, with whom the orchestra has enjoyed an artistic partnership for over 50 years, conducted the New Year's Concert for the fifth time.

This year's concert was broadcast in over 90 countries around the world and was seen by 50 million television viewers. The program for the New Year's Concert 2015 featured numerous compositions by Johann Strauss Father and Son, Eduard and Josef Strauss as well as works by Franz von Suppé und Hans Christian Lumbye. Five pieces were performed for the first time as part of the New Year's Concert. The program also commemorated 650 years of the University of Vienna and 200 years of the Technical University of Vienna."
Wiener Philharmoniker

The Großer Saal was filled to capacity of 1700 people enjoying the most genuine Wiener Waltz possible. The music loving audience was seated on chairs on the floor and in the balconies surrounding the hall. These locations are significant for what follows.

Towards the end of the concert the Maestro turned his back to the orchestra and began to direct the hand claps of the audience. With very few movements of hand, eyebrows, warning finger now and then - that was all needed to take total control of the audience seated in different parts of the hall. By varying the volume and section of the hall participating in the rhythmic clapping he was actually composing on the spot addition to the piece the orchestra was playing. It was all fun, very musical and the audience just loved it.

At least I have never seen anything like it before - a conductor accurately controlling almost 2000 people with minimal movements and gestures creating a joint musical experience that surely must be unforgettable to those present in this fine concert.

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