The recent concert tour of the UK by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz was made even more memorable for a favoured few who were invited to a reception at The Austrian Residence, in London’s Belgrave Square, at the end of April.
In the presence of the Austrian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Martin Eichtinger, the Director of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Uwe Schmitz-Gielsdorf, and Georg Steiner, the Managing Director of the Linz Tourist Board, there was time for presentations on Linz and the orchestra’s repertoire, a (live) sample of chamber music from some of its members, and then some refreshments. By 7pm, it was time to embark on the short – but rainy – walk from the Residence to The Cadogan Hall, for the second of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz’s two concerts at that venue.
The previous evening’s concert had featured Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony, Gluck-Wagner’s Overture to Iphigénie en Aulide, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 – with the renowned Melvyn Tan as soloist. This time, the programme comprised Beethoven’s Overture to King Stephen (opus 117), Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 and Philip Glass’ Symphony No 9.
The pianist engaged to play the Beethoven Piano Concerto – Ingolf Wunder, a former winner of the Warsaw International Chopin Competition – was indisposed, so Melvyn Tan deputised most ably. He gave a suitably vigorous, demonstrative and even, at times, flamboyant performance that was also sensitive and sincere, maintaining a playful dialogue with the orchestra – which was conducted by the Ohio-born, Dennis Russell Davies.
Mr Davies has been principal conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz since 2002, as well as being a professor at the Mozarteum Saltzburg since 1997. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz, under Dennis Russell Davies, has recorded all ten of Philip Glass’ symphonies – and the recording was released on 22nd April.