Western Civilisation

Strauss, Bruckner and the Dying of the Light

I am currently wrapping up a two-week visit to the 2017 Salzburg Festival. Every performance I have attended has been of the very first class, but I heard a few days ago a concert which touched me deeply. The concert was played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, undoubtedly one of the most splendid orchestras in the world. The conductor was Herman Blomstedt, celebrating this year his ninetieth birthday. He conducted seated. He had in front of him a miniature score, but he did not open it throughout the concert. He used no baton. The concert was akin to an intimate…

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