Medici Concerts – The Magic Continues on A Night in Vienna

Danube so blue, so bright and blue,
through vale and field you flow so calm,
our Vienna greets you,
your silver stream through all the lands
you merry the heart with your beautiful shores

Dancing the waltz in the Kursalon Stadtpark, or in an Imperial Ballroom at Vienna is for many a special experience. Vienna is a city rich in heritage and culture, which you can almost inhale as you stroll around its streets and wide open spaces filled with a vivid history you can practically touch. When you are waltzing the music and atmosphere is absolutely spine chilling as you are transported back to an era, when romance and magic were co-travellers and music was synonymous with beauty and grace. In a room adorned with flowers everywhere couples whirl around the floor locked in an energizing embrace, he in white tie and tails and she in a gown that sweeps the floor ever so elegantly as she glides graciously upon it.

Continuing to make musical magic at Brisbane the multi-award winning Medici Concerts International Piano Series will prove that you do not have to be born in Vienna to feel the magic and fall in love with its musical tradition, which is also an important aspect of Austria’s social and cultural development. If you want to enjoy a night out without treading on anyone’s toes then be sure to put October 1 in your diary now and BOOK your tickets to spend A Night in Vienna. It will feature the talents of the much admired Flury-Prinz Duo with Dieter Flury on flute and Maria Prinze on a Steinway Grand Piano, courtesy of Theme and Variations Piano Services. Described, as having a phenomenal finger and breathe technique, Dieter is  renowned for his musical intelligence. He enjoys a multi-faceted career as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, and orchestral leader.

Writing a review for the New York Concert Review in February this year the violinist, violist, educator and writer Edith Eisler, said of the duo’s sold out concert at Carnegie Hall that it was ‘deeply expressive’ and contained ‘plenty of brilliance’. Ms Eisler noted ‘Mr. Flury played on a golden flute, whose radiance was only matched by its warm, round, shimmering tone’. She praised Ms. Prinz as ‘an exemplary collaborator leading and supporting with equal sensitivity’. Ms Eisler studied violin in her native Vienna, at Prague, London and New York and has a great deal of knowledge about the technical, motivational  and inspirational aspects of any performance.

Maria Prinz, who was born in Sofia, Bulgaria into a musical family, is on the faculty of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She is in much demand and has performed as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Dieter Flury is Principal Flutist and General Manager since 2005. Originally from Zurich, Dieter Flury is a Professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. He previously served on the faculty of the Vienna Music Academy and the Vienna Conservatory, and leads master classes around the world.  The Program they will play includes:-

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Sonata for flute and piano BMV 1030

The piece is in three movements – Andante, Largo e dolce and Presto. Bach’s works are still recognized today for the breadth and depth of their musicality, praised for their ability to demonstrate his technical command and admired for their artistic beauty. The score for BMV 1030 was first published in the original complete collection of Bach’s works between 1851 and 1899, although at the time performances for solo flute were rare. The date for its composition is only acknowledged as being after 1735 when Bach led the Leipzig Collegium.

Ludwig von Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Variations Op 107 Nr 7 “The Beautiful Minka”.

The variations bear an unusual title ‘for piano with the accompaniment of a flute’ while in fact both instruments act as equal partners. A melancholy Ukranian folksong the theme is also used by a fellow student of Beethoven at Vienna Austrian composer and pianist Johann Nepomuk Hummel, during the transition from the eighteenth century classical to the romantic musical era of the nineteenth century. Interestingly Hummel was a pupil of the Mozart family and his relationship with Beethoven was filled with ups and downs although always about respect.  Hummel improvised at Beethoven’s memorial concert.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Sonata for flute and piano in B flat major K 378

The centrality of all Mozart’s work is clarity of composition. The balance he achieves in all his rhythmic structures provides an insight into his musical genius. Originally composed for violin and piano, this Sonata has three movements – Allegro moderato, Andante Sostenuto e cantabile, and Allegro (rondo). It starts with a delightful free flowing melody. The second movement provides a delightful intervention, of both meter and rhythm leading to a third, which returns to the original carefree theme to conclude what is a wonderfully sophisticated piece of music.

Albert Franz Doppler (1821 – 1883)
Fantaisie pastorale hongroise

This piece is by the Ukranian born Austrian based flute virtuoso, best known for his orchestral arrangement of Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor and teacher Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. Doppler and his brother caused a sensation as a flute playing duo in Europe before he became Chief Conductor of the Vienna Court Opera and Professor of Flute at the Vienna Conservatoire. The Fantaisie is central to the flute repertoire appearing on lists of musical masterpieces specifically composed for the Flute and recorded by many different musicians. It captures the sounds of ‘Gypsy influenced’ music eloquently, displaying exotic overtones and an decidedly oriental style in its harmonic flavour.

François Borne (1840 – 1920)
Carmen Fantasie

An expert on design for Flute and a player, Borne composed works that would display every aspect of a flute player’s technical virtuosity. This Fantasie is a fabulously flashy variation on the score of the opera Carmen, a triumphant statement for the genre of Gypsy style music played by flutists with sufficient technique to accomplish it. The Carmen Fantasie is full of fun moments, especially when the flutist tackles the famous rebellious Latin rhythm aria the ‘Habañera.

Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899)
Voices of Spring

When he composed this work Strauss reflected the light-hearted spirit of the Viennese waltz, a drawing room dance that made it onto the stage, into the salons of Paris and eventually Imperial Ballrooms, where people spent their nights whirling about. Irresistible, durable and still a dance redefined in popular cultural programs, the waltz is all about civilized society as well as wine, women and song!.

Perpetuum mobile
Strauss’s musical joke was composed in 1861. It can be played infinitely and never really ends. It’s the piece that spices up any concert, a truly delightful counterpoint for other more serious works.

Carnaval in Venice
This masterly work by Strauss captures the lavish colours of eighteenth century Venice at carnival time, with its sense of festivity and fun, pleasure and seduction.

Vittorio Monti (1868 – 1922)

Based on a Hungarian csárdás, which means tavern, this folk dance starts out slowly and works itself into a very fast, fresh frenzy. Monti’s is probably the best known of them all and played by almost every Gypsy orchestra. It has seven sections changing pace makes the piece exciting. To link it to contemporary times, Lady Gaga used it as part of her background music for her song ‘Alejandro’, which is on her latest album.

Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899)
An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 (Blue Danube)

Composed in 1866 this lovely waltz tune is the unofficial national anthem of Austria. It’s always played for the encore at the annual Vienna New Year’s Concert.

Used in the influential Stanley Kubrick film 2001 – A Space Odyssey, it creates a parallel between the docking procedure of a space shuttle with a space station and two lovers locked in a waltz together.

Stop your tides at Vienna, it loves you so much!
Whenever you might look you will find nowhere like Vienna!
Here pours a full chest the charms of happy wishes,
and heartfelt German wishes are flown away on your waters.

A Night in Vienna will be held in St John’s Cathedral at Brisbane on October 1, 2011.

Long before we were bouncing voices off tiles in a shower the correlation between music and architecture existed in many different cultures.

In Europe during the Middle Ages great stone spaces were designed to reflect the eternal harmony believed present in nature and the music performed in them its echo. Over the centuries composers exploited their effects to produce amazing melodies that scaled the heights reverberating off faceted stone arcades to linger long in lofty places.

Vigour, boldness of design, excellence of proportion, simplicity, elegance and purity are all words used to describe the nineteenth century Gothic Revival style buildings of John Loughborough Pearson, architect of St John’s Cathedral. He gained a reputation for relying upon the disposition of the masses, noble proportions and the natural qualities of the materials he used to produce the effects that he wanted,

In 2008 when it’s great west end was completed it finally brought into play the lively acoustic that Pearson had originally planned, so that the music would resonate gloriously during A Night in Vienna

What: Medici Concerts – A Night in Vienna
Where: St John’s Cathedral, 373 Ann St, Brisbane
When: Saturday 1 October 5pm
Bookings Online QTIX
Bookings by Phone 136 246
Tickets: $45/$50

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