The Munich Philharmonic on tour in Europe
In January 2018 the Munich Philharmonic and their principal conductor, Valery Gergiev, went on a short European tour. A total of four concerts was performed in the Philharmonie de Paris, the Kölner Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. For the first two concerts the program consisted of Tchaikovsky’s “Francesca da Rimini”, Richard Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” featuring soloist Anja Harteros and finally Richard Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben”. In Amsterdam and Hamburg Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and yet again Richard Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben” were played. The very successful first concert of the tour was performed in the Philharmonie de Paris. Anja Harteros was hailed by the audience, the maestro and the orchestra alike and the concert ended in frenetic applause. The audience in the Kölner Philharmonie was also enthusiastic, with director Louwrens Langevoort visibly impressed. The acoustics in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw made for a challenging stage rehearsal, but in the sold-out hall they proved to be excellent. A sense of anticipation preceded the first guest performance in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. The acoustics of this venue proved both extraordinary and unusual. Unusual because it is harder to hear one another on stage; extraordinary as the sound experience for the audience was all the more impressive. Both audience and media were thrilled by the performance, which the orchestra, too, felt to be a memorable experience.