Soprano Christine Schäfer and the PSO lead by Manfred Honeck gave an exquisite performance of Strauss's Four Last Songs at the Philharmonie in Essen. The audience at the recently-built concert hall had an odd moment at the end of Bruckner's fourth symphony. Jim Cunningham reports.
An MP4 video clip of Manfred Honeck leading the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Hungarian Dance #5 by Brahms at the Philharmonie in Essen, Germany on September 15, 2009.
QED's Jim Cunningham and PSO Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh recount Wednesday's concert at the Beethoven Festival in the composer's native city, with audio excerpts from the live broadcast on WDR 3 Radio.
On Monday, Contrabassoonist James Rodgers talks about his day at the zoo, and PSO staffer Sonja Winkler talks about her relatives in the orchestra, and the new musicians making their first PSO tour.
Manfred Honeck begins his first PSO European tour in Essen with a program featuring Bruckner's Fourth Symphony and Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs. Jim's post-concert report from the Autobahn is interrupted by a tunnel, but resumes back at the hotel as Concertmaster Andres Cardenes comments on the beautiful violin part in the Strauss.
Jim Cuninngham and the PSO arrive in Cologne, home base for concerts in Essen and Bonn. Violist Penny Brill demonstrates how she entertained herself during the long trip. Jim includes a brief sample of a string sextet from the smaller of two concert halls in Westdeutsche Rundfunk's broadcast facility.