Vienna Philharmonic / Christian Thielemann - Großes Festspielhaus, 11 August 2013
Finally I have time to write about my week in Salzburg before it slips from my memory entirely. Until Karajan is resurrected (something the Salzburgers appear to be working on), the holy trinity of Bruckner, Wiener Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann is about as Fest-perfect as you can get.
The Sunday night concert was devoted entirely to Bruckner's 5th Symphony. Scoreless, Thielemann demonstrated the simultaneous grasp of detail and sonic architecture that has placed him in Karajan's shoes. The Wieners - or at least a crack section of the 160-strong troupe - displayed an attentiveness and precision which was to elude them for the rest of my stay. Quiet sections were exquisitely calibrated, climaxes thundered, and time stood still for an hour and half. The ovations went on for another twenty minutes or so, with Thielemann called back for a final solo bow even after the orchestra had left the stage. Way to go on.
And the best part? With a pillar to one side allegedly obscuring the view, my seat cost just 10 euros.