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Vienna Philharmonic thrills on Doha debut.

DOHA The historical Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) showed Doha residents what makes it among the finest ensembles in the world, as they performed during their highly-anticipated concert, at the Ceremonial Court, Education City, on Sunday. Adding to the reputation of the group, the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned were among the audience as the group performed repertoires of Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel before them. VPO has been performing since 1842. The group has not only graced different stages across the globe but it is also remembered by the reputation of their resident and guest conductors, including the likes of Otto Nicolai, Hans Richter, Gustav Mahler, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Sir John Barbirolli, to name a few. During their Doha performance, it was the maestro Lorin Maazel who directed the group when they performed three of the best compositions that celebrate the grandeur of nature. The musical evening featured Beethoven's Sypmhony No 6, F Major, Op. 68 "Pastorale" inspired by the composer's love for the countryside; Marcel Ravel's ballet 'Daphnis and Chloe', Suite No 2 and Claude Debussy's amazing portrayal of the mood of the ocean aptly titled 'La Mer'. The guest performer's rendition of the sought-after pieces captured the hearts of the audience, which included the cream of the country, including members of the diplomatic corps and musicians of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO). Prior to the concert, Qatar Tribune caught up with the concert master of the VPO Rainer Honeck. Honeck, a member of the group for 29 years, said as first timers in Doha they simply wanted to convey the distinct style of Viennese music making of what he called 'Viennese sound'. He also provided a glimpse on what it is like to be apart of such a highly-respected orchestra. "It is a great privilege to be part of an orchestra which boasts of such a legendary tradition, regularly tours all over the world and performs with the very best conductors. "The work load is tremendous, since the Vienna Philharmonic performs at the Vienna State Opera and in concert as well, also very frequently undertaking long tours around the world. Practically, it thus has twice as much work than other orchestras which do not regularly play at an opera house. Despite the fact that the Vienna Philharmonic counts more members than most symphony orchestras, this two-fold task is very challenging," Honeck said. Honeck named Beethoven's music as his personal favourite among their line-up for the evening's concert. He said, "Beethoven is always a great challenge for Viennese orchestras. He belongs to one of the most prominent pillars in the history of classical music and Vienna was a focal point in his life as he spent many years there." But judging from the overwhelming response of the Doha crowd to their concert here, VPO has no doubt accomplished their mission of conquering yet another stage.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Feb 15, 2010
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