Kammerorchester Basel / Blechacz / Pinnock

The Kammerorchester Basel played a concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock and with Rafał Blechacz on the piano.
Seen on: 24.6.2016

Their program consisted of some Ludwig van Beethoven (overture to op. 43 The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 19 Piano Concerto Number 2, the adagio cantabile of op. 13 Piano Sonato Number 8), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K 543 Symphony Number 39), Frédéric Chopin (op. 56/2 Mazurka) and finally Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (the third movement of op. 107 Symphony Number 5).

To be quite honest with you, I don’t know much about classical music and I only heard this concert because my mom couldn’t attend and my dad was looking for somebody to go with him. So this review isn’t so much a review than it is a few thoughts jotted down for completion’s sake.

I definitely enjoyed the concert. The music was beautiful, though I honestly enjoyed the Mendelssohn Bartholdy most of all – even though that was only a small encore and certainly not the focus of the concert. But I’m simply a sucker for romantic classical music. I am sure they played very well, but here’s the part where I simply cannot say anything of substance. A big part of my entertainment though, was watching Pinnock conduct. We had great seats, so I was able to see him and his expressions quite clearly and he just seemed to have so much fun and enjoy himself so much and I think that transferred to the orchestra, the music and the audience.

In short, it was a great evening, even for a classical music novice like myself.

Trevor Pinnock

Trevor Pinnock


Roses is a “Freak Cabaret” by the Dakh Daughters band, directed by Vlad Troitsky.
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 17.5.2016

The Dakh is a theater in Kiev, out of which grew the Dakh Daughters band: an all-female group that takes existing songs and texts, mix them with each other and new things and give them their own twist. The result is a highly political, emotional cabaret concert that reminded me of The Tiger Lillies, but at the same time is very much its own thing. I was absolutley taken with it.

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Hozier (Support: Rhodes)

Hozier played a concert in Vienna with the support of Rhodes.
Seen on: 25.2.2016.

Unfortunately, the organization at the Gasometer, the concert venue was less than ideal. We were queuing for a good long while before one entrance to the concert hall where nothing budged for at least 30 minutes. After that time somebody from the organization team told us that we should head to the other entrance which was empty. Why they didn’t give us that information before, nobody knows. In any case, after we headed there, it took us another 15 minutes to get in and yet another 10 minutes to check our coats. By the time we finally got to the stage itself, Rhodes was done playing and Hozier was about to start.

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Everlast is a rapper/singer-songwriter who came to Vienna once more for an acoustic concert, accompanied by Bryan Velasco.
Seen on: 9.11.2015

I saw Everlast a couple of years ago already (and once many, many years before that) and I was really looking forward to seeing him again. This time, his show felt even more reduced and boiled down to the essentials than the last time, but at least equally enjoyable.

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Glen Hansard (Support: Ye Vagabonds)

Glen Hansard came to the Konzerthaus again, with supporting band Ye Vagabonds.
Seen on: 17.10.2015

I hadn’t actually planned to go to this concert, but the puzzledpeaces’ sister got sick and I sacrificed myself to not let the ticket go to waste. I endured the hardships of an excellent concert with great seats because that’s just the kind of selfless friend I am. Yes indeed.

Ye Vagabonds

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Frequency Festival 2015

After skipping the Frequency Festival for a few years (here are my past Frequency reviews), this year the program drew me back in, although only for a day. Puzzledpeaces and me took the train to St. Pölten to enjoy one day of the Festival – basically the light version.

Before we got there, though, I realized that I had forgotten the tickets at home. Stupid print at home tickets that I had in my agenda which I left at home with a smile because I won’t be making any appointments at the festival now, will I. And once you printed print at home tickets, there’s no way to re-download them or anything. Which meant that we spent our first fifteen minutes pleading with a ticket officer and giving her every number we could give her until she relented and printed our day passes for us.

After this exciting start, we only caught about half of Krautschädl‘s set – an Austrian band. I didn’t really know them before, I only knew of them, but puzzledpeaces recommended and she was right to. Krautschädl gave a fun performance, the crowd (still rather thin at this point) was in a good mood and the energy levels were high. Now that’s the way to kick off a festival.

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Sizarr (Support: Vin Blanc/White Wine)

Sizarr are a German band who came to the Arena for a concert. They were supported by Vin Blanc/White Wine.
Seen on: 22.04.2015

I didn’t know Vin Blanc/White Wine before that concert and I have to admit that the concert really didn’t blow me away, either. There was just a weird energy in the room and barely any energy at all on stage.

Listening to them on youtube a bit, I like them better than live, but I don’t think that I’ll be spending much time listening to them any further.

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ELVIS – The Musical

ELVIS – The Musical
Cast/Band: Grahame Patrick, Alexander Gregor, The Stamps Quartet,
Seen on 12.4.2015

ELVIS – The Musical takes us on a small tour through Elvis Presley‘s (Grahame Patrick) life and his music, accompanied by original photo and video footage.

ELVIS – The Musical was a great tribute concert, but an abysmal musical. Why they felt the need at all to turn it into a musical, I will never understand. But if you ignore that part and instead just enjoy the music (which is the main reason I want to watch a show like this anyway), you’ll have a wonderful evening.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar
Director: Werner Sobotka
Writer: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics)
Cast: Drew Sarich, Alex Melcher, Nadine Beiler, Mark Sampson, Tobias Bieri, Benjamin Sommerfeld, Marc Clear, Peter Kratochvil, Armin Kahl
Seen on: 05.04.2015

Jesus (Drew Sarich) has become really successful and has gathered quite a following. Among his apostels is Judas (Alex Melcher) who has grown more and more discontent at the direction Jesus is taking the group and he’s also suspicious of the cult surrounding Jesus as a person. As the rift between them becomes bigger, Jesus knows that his time on Earth as the son of god is drawing to an end and that Judas will play a big part in that.

Almost every year around Easter, they show a limited run of a Jesus Christ Superstar production in Vienna that isn’t quite a full-sized musical/opera. It’s been years that I saw it and last time I did, it actually was just a concert, with five or so singers taking on multiple roles. By now the production has grown quite substantially, has costumes, choreographies and a rather big cast. It’s still not the most complicated play, but I’d say, it is a complete show and not just a concert. And it’s good.

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