Anyone who knows the enthusiasm for the Russian-Israeli pianist Yevgeny Kissin understands that a Saturday afternoon concert by the Vienna Philharmonic can be a headliner in the field of classical music. But it is a new pairing that has caused a stir since the Salzburg Festival and the furious “Kat’a Kabanova”: The combination is Jakub Hrusa on the podium and the Vienna Philharmonic on stage. Both rightly collected ovations of the special class in the Musikvereinsaal today.
The fixed bench in the middle was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto A major, KV 488, with two special encores by Kissin. But anyone who is still wondering who will take the vacant place of the sorely missed Mariss Jansons can now be sure: Hrusa, who was born in Mare Hrusa, has just been appointed to the music direction of the Royal Opera House in London from 2025, not only could it – he will be.
power and precision
His orchestral leadership of Antonin Dvorak’s Othello Concerto Overture in F sharp minor, Op. 93, and last but not least Witold Lutoslawski’s classic from the 1950s, Concerto for Orchestra, proved Hrusa’s mastery of wanting to lead the orchestra in its breadth and accuracy at every point to demonstrate.
All in all, it becomes experienced music history when Lutoslawski’s “Dies Irae” is paired with the musical language from Stravinsky’s “Sacre” and Shostakovich’s symphonic work to determine the position of music after 1945, also against authoritarian systems. Hrusa and the Philharmonic read the work in the spirit of great liberation. And at the same time tame the power that is in this work.
In the end, the Musikverein is in a state of great euphoria, bringing the conductor back onto the stage four more times. And shows that new expectations for the future seem to be laid out here.