Sonntag, 29 Dezember 2013 17:03

A Salute to Vienna celebrates the art of the waltz

Matthias Fletzberger and the "Vancouver Symphony Orchestra" will usher in the new year in glittering style with a tribute to the elegant rhythms of the historic Austrian capital. Alexander Varty dedicates an art-feature to the upcoming New Years Concert at the Orpheum in Vancouver.

“Vienna is a very traditional place,” says Matthias Fletzberger, checking in with the Georgia Straight from the erstwhile home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gustav Mahler, and the two Johann Strausses, father and son. “In a way, we are still living in the 19th century. Growing up here was like… Well, I like Disney movies, but it’s real, sometimes. It sounds strange, but it really is, with all the imperial character of the town. We go ballroom dancing all through the ball season, which runs from November until the end of February. And this music by the Strauss family is omnipresent; it’s always there. You can’t avoid it even if you would like to.”

“For me, though, the music of the Strauss family is quite modern, and one can take a contemporary approach to it,” he adds, noting that there’s an existential quality to the music that is anything but ossified. “When you have a waltz in Paris, all three beats have equal rights, in a way. But in Vienna there’s always a certain doubt if you will reach the end. [The acclaimed German conductor] Bruno Walter once said that the Viennese waltz is ‘one, two, and maybe’, and this ‘maybe’, in a way, is not the character only of the waltz, but of the whole city. Eventually, we’ll finish!”

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents A Salute to Vienna at the Orpheum next Wednesday (January 1).

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