The Vienna Symphony Orchestra, conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev and pianist Rudolf Buchbinder caused quite a stir Saturday night at the nearly packed Lied Center.
After a two-hour concert of Wagner, Schumann, von Weber and Mozart, the smitten crowd was on its feet, clapping and clamoring for more. The orchestra obliged with two encores yes, one was a Viennese waltz that brought the audience back on its feet.
The concert opened with Wagner's "Eine Faust Ouverture," in which a wonderfully controlled flute sailed above the strings and a timpani created the turmoil of the title character, Faust. The piece heralded to what was to come: synchronization of silky strings and wondrous sonority.
Buchbinder was a delight to watch as he laid out Schumann's "Concerto in A Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 54." The play between the piano and the woodwinds, particularly the oboe and the clarinet, was ear-catching. Buchbinder's joy of playing was evident as he worked the keys during the fast coda of the first movement, which resulted in the audience casting aside concert etiquette to give the pianist a much-deserved burst of applause. The rest of the work was marked by cross-rhythms and syncopation, which Buchbinder performed exquisitely.
The orchestra, with nearly 100 members, delivered an energetic and masterful performance of Mozart's "Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551," also known as the "Jupiter" symphony because of the almost superhuman skills needed to play its finale. The passion of the players was evident in this piece a work of layered minuets, sonatas and imagination that proves the genius of Mozart.
Like pianist Buchbinder, conductor Fedoseyev is a joy to watch. His animated arms and hands create a ballet and sometimes a modern dance in the air as he coaxes the best from his musicians.
The Vienna Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its centennial this year with a 14-city U.S. tour. Bravo to the Lied Center for making sure Lawrence was on its touring roster.