I don't think it is possible to describe my experience listening to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein on Thursday night with words, but as considering words are what I have to work with, the phrase that immediately comes to my mind is all-around splendor.
Allow me to set the scene: after walking up a grand staircase, the hall opens up to a raised stage with seats below and two levels of balcony, the first of which wraps all the way around the concert hall. Everything is gold and ornate, with statues and figures above every doorway and on columns surrounding the hall.
As if the hall itself was not incredible enough, the musicians of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra appear on stage with a soloist and start the concert off with a bang. As a violinist, it was wonderful that we had the opportunity to attend a concert that featured a violin solo and sit in the second row of the hall. I was only sitting about 8-10 feet away from the stage, which provided me a fantastic view of the soloist as well as the second violin section. The energy with which the soloist and the entire orchestra played was fantastic, and the conductor was VERY enthusiastic as well.
Even though the Vienna Philharmonic is assumed to be the best orchestra in Vienna, the Vienna Symphony is extremely talented and gave a great performance tonight. The hall at which the concert was played, the Musikverein, holds a lot of history regarding classical and romantic composers. It was a music society for the great composers of the day, and now is a wonderful place to hear incredible live music.
As I was listening to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, I was thinking about everything that I was seeing and hearing. I came up with the "4 A's" that made tonight so special:
(I'm an English major, so I had to compromise on this last one to make it fit with the alliteration pattern--acoustics translates to music).
If you ever find yourself in Vienna, make sure that you go to an orchestra in the Musikverein and an opera in the Staatsoper, as Lily talked about in her last post!