The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the finest in the world, will present two nights of classical music at Shenzhen Concert Hall. The program of Oct. 19 will be Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8” and Strauss’ “A Hero’s Life.” The next night’s program will be Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7” and “Leonore No. 3” and Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde Overture.” Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons will wield the baton.
Founded in 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic is based at the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Its members are selected from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. In 2006, the Vienna Philharmonic was chosen as Europe’s finest orchestra in a survey of seven leading trade publications, two radio stations and a daily newspaper. In 2008, an international jury of music critics polled by the British Gramophone magazine ranked it third in the world after the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
Nelsons is currently the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the music director-designate of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93” is a symphony in four movements. The composer fondly referred to it as “my little Symphony in F,” distinguishing it from his sixth symphony.
His eighth symphony is generally light-hearted, though not lightweight, and in many places cheerfully loud, with many accented notes. Various passages in the symphony are heard by some listeners to be musical jokes.
As with various other Beethoven works such as piano sonatas, the symphony deviates from classical tradition in making the last movement the weightiest of the four.
“A Hero’s Life, Op. 40” is a tone poem by Richard Strauss. The work was completed in 1898. It was his sixth work in the genre, and exceeded any of its predecessors in its orchestral demands. Generally agreed to be autobiographical in nature, despite contradictory statements on the matter by the composer, the work contains more than 30 quotations from Strauss’ earlier works.
“Leonore No. 3” is considered by many listeners as the greatest of the four overtures to Beethoven’s opera “Fidelio.”