The Philadelphia Orchestra Brings Vienna To Carnegie Hall With a Strauss waltz, a cheeky take on Strauss and a Beethoven concerto, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin conjures the sound of old Vienna, once the musical capital of Europe.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra with pianist Jan Lisiecki at Carnegie Hall in a program inspired by Vienna. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The Philadelphia Orchestra Brings Vienna To Carnegie HallWQXR radio

Hear Excerpts From The Concert

It was the day before Thanksgiving in 1902 when the Philadelphia Orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall. Music by Tchaikovsky was on the program and on the podium was Fritz Scheel, the first leader of an orchestra founded just two years before.

Since then, the Philadelphians have paid dozens of visits to the venerable venue, and on Jan. 14 they returned with a program steeped in the Viennese tradition. Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted a Beethoven piano concerto with young Canadian soloist Jan Lisiecki and a piece from late last century by HK Gruber, a native of Vienna.

The concert opened with about the most Viennese music imaginable, "Tales from the Vienna Woods" by Johann Strauss, Jr., the composer dubbed the "Waltz King." Gruber's Charivari, subtitled "An Austrian Journal for orchestra," is a cheeky take on Strauss' famous "Perpetuum mobile" polka. Best known for his demented cabaret "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!, here Gruber takes hammer and tongs to Austrian propriety.

The 20-year-old Lisiecki, named Gramophone magazine's Young Artist of the Year in 2013, made his Carnegie Hall debut with the gentle, lonely opening chords of Beethoven's concerto. Nézet-Séguin added another Beethoven piece to the concert — but with an extra Viennese twist. It's the String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 in a version for string orchestra by Gustav Mahler, heard first in 1899 another legendary hall, Vienna's Musikverein.

Program:
  • Johann Strauss, Jr.: "Tales from the Vienna Woods" Waltz, Op. 325
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
  • Beethoven (arr. Mahler): String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, "Serioso"
  • Gruber: Charivari
  • Johann Strauss, Jr.: Perpetuum mobile, Op. 257 (encore)

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director

Jan Lisiecki, piano

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

Dancers in "Stalactites," a video by Mark DeChiazza, based on Orpheus Unsung, a theater work composed by Steven Mackey, with Jason Treuting. Mark DeChiazza hide caption

toggle caption Mark DeChiazza

Orpheus Reborn With Dancers, Drums And Electric Guitar

A new video, featuring a score by Steven Mackey with Jason Treuting, retells the ancient tale of love, loss and the power of music.

Devonté Hynes and Philip Glass met in Hynes' Chinatown loft for a conversation on a rainy spring day. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

'When You Gonna Get A Real Job?': Philip Glass And Devonté Hynes Compare Notes

Watch the two musicians, nearly 50 years apart in age, talk about the pains of striking out on your own, the pulse of New York, and the role of the artist today. Plus about a hundred other ideas.

Penguin Cafe performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 2, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Penguin Cafe

Penguin Cafe folds in sounds from around the world and throughout music history — Africa, Kraftwerk, Brazil and Franz Schubert.

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir revised her piece Aura especially for The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. David Holechek hide caption

toggle caption David Holechek

Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Volcanic Transmissions

As members of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet bow their vibraphones, brush their gongs and message their bass drums, the composer's evocative music oozes from blackness.

Ludovico Einaudi, performing live for KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Ludovico Einaudi, 'Petricor' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the pianist and composer, joined by a full band, in a stunning live performance for KCRW.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato created this video to go with her new album, In War and Peace: Harmony through Music. Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Warner Classics

In Chaotic Times, A Singer's Plea For Freedom

Opera star Joyce DiDonato does more than sing — she lends her voice to social causes. Watch her new video, a haunting depiction of a woman trapped in conflict.

Genard Ptah Blair dances to Carolina Eyck's music in a magical video directed by Sonia Malfa. Sonia Malfa hide caption

toggle caption Sonia Malfa

Get Lost In Carolina Eyck's Ethereal Garden

A magical landscape, the sounds of a slithery theremin and one elastic dancer offer an oasis of tranquility in a hectic world.

Gustavo Dudamel led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra to open the new season of concerts at Carnegie Hall Thursday, Oct. 6. Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall hide caption

toggle caption Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall

Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring'

WQXR radio

The charismatic conductor first heard Stravinsky's rambunctious music when he was just 8. Watch him lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela live on Thursday night.

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.

Back To Top