Scenes from a Viennese countryside, the sea, and a stunning depiction of a sunrise were brought to life by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra yesterday at the Education City Ceremonial Court.
Strains of three of the most evocative paintings in the entire repertoire of the inimitable Vienna Philharmonic echoed throughout the Ceremonial Court.
The 168-year-old orchestra brought to life Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, F Major, Op. 68 “Pastorale,” an immortal symphonic depiction of a visit to the countryside;ý Claude Debussy’s “La Mer,” a dazzlingly vivid portrait of the sea from morning until twilight;ý and an excerpt from Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2,” a gorgeous ballet based on Greek myth, including its famous musical depiction of sunrise.
“Listening to the three pieces, it is advisable to close your eyes and listen and ‘see’ with your ears,” said Prof Dr Dieter Flury, the general manager of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Flury also plays the first flute in the orchestra.
The three pieces are three of the most illustrative and the most prominent examples of putting painting into music.
“‘Pastorale’ starts with a happy feeling that would make us think of a scene from a countryside, it also showed a happy feeling after the storm… it is a happy piece and it was close to the heart of the peasants at that time. The other two pieces are like pictures with incredible and many colours,” said Flury in an interview with The Peninsula.
Flury said the orchestra picked the three pieces for the audience here because they wanted to bring some various European landscapes to Qatar.
The inimitable Vienna Philharmonic performed under the renowned conductor Lorin Maazel, who is closely associated with the legendary orchestra. Maazel conducted the successful inaugural concert of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2008 at the Qatar National Theater.
The orchestra, which has around 150 members, is the musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music. Around 90 of the orchestra’s members performed yesterday.
Thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the more-than-2,000 people greeted the orchestra as it played its last note from the “Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2” piece.
The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned graced the event.
The orchestra’s presentation is one of the many events, activities and exhibitions planned this year for the Doha, Capital of Arab Culture 2010 festival.
Dr Saif Ali Al Hajari, vice chairperson of Qatar Foundation and chairman of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, said hosting the event “is significant in a year that Doha has been chosen as the Arab Capital of Culture.”
“We are building bridges with the rest of the world… Qatar is now opening up to embracing new culture, and introducing ours to the rest of the world… and music is one way of doing that. Music plays a very important role and is part of almost all the art and cultural presentations all over the world, like drama,” said Al Hajari.
The Vienna Philharmonic is a music association which has remained essentially faithful to concepts of sound originating from the Viennese classics, although there were some developments.
Al Hajari said by bringing “such esteemed musicians to Qatar, we aim to assist in unlocking the human potential of the entire community.”
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