Möstly Middling: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall (I)
I was at all three of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Carnegie Hall concerts this weekend, but my review of Sunday’s concert is up first. It was Bruckner 4 and the Berg Violin Concerto (with Frank Peter Zimmermann), and it was iffy in places, so-so in others.
Franz Welser-Möst misses few opportunities to declare his affinity with Anton Bruckner. The conductor, after all, is from Linz in Upper Austria, and Bruckner was born twelve decades earlier in a village just outside the same town. From London to Vienna, Welser-Möst has believed it necessary consciously to advocate for Bruckner’s music. He has even gone as far as dubbing him the “grandfather of minimalism”, to explain pairing his symphonies with the works of John Adams in a recent Cleveland Orchestra residency at Carnegie Hall.
This performance of the Fourth Symphony, the final act in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s three-concert run at Carnegie Hall, did not quite live up to that billing.