philippe jordan takes over vienna state opera

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philippe jordan takes over vienna state opera

Post by lennygoran » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:17 pm

John F
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Re: philippe jordan takes over vienna state opera

Post by John F » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:23 am

Those are very big shoes to fill, or they used to be. In the past, conductors were appointed director of the opera, not just music director, and up to the 1990s it was a very distinguished list:

Gustav Mahler (1897–1907)
Felix Weingartner (first term, 1908–11)
Richard Strauss / Franz Schalk (1919–24)
Franz Schalk (1924–29)
Clemens Krauss (1929–34)
Felix von Weingartner (second term, 1935–36)
Bruno Walter (1936-38) (artistic director)
Karl Böhm (first term, 1943–45)
Karl Böhm (second term, 1954–56)
Herbert von Karajan (1956–1964) (artistic director)
Lorin Maazel (1982–84)
Claudio Abbado (1986–1991) (music director)

Then came a long blank interval, as the opera director, Ioan Holender, believed there was no need for a music director, so he left the position vacant. Toward the end of his term he appointed an unqualified conductor to the post - Seiji Ozawa, whose experience in any opera house was minimal and whose health was declining. When Holender and Ozawa finally retired in 2010, a new opera director Dominique Meyer and a new music director were appointed concurrently. Franz Welser-Möst seemed the perfect choice, being an experienced music director of opera and indeed an Austrian. But "irreconcileable differences of opinion," presumably with Meyer, soon led to his resignation, and the State Opera hasn't had a music director for three years.

On the basis of his Metropolitan Opera appearances from 2002 to 2007 - he hasn't appeared there since - Philippe Jordan is a capable opera conductor but, to my ears, an uninspired and uninspiring one. He is well known in Vienna, having been the Vienna Symphony Orchestra's chief conductor since 2011. His time as music director of the Paris Opéra has been pretty quiet on the whole, at a house which like the Vienna State Opera has often been pretty turbulent, with music directors leaving before time; Daniel Barenboim, who was to have opened the new Opéra Bastille, resigned before conducting even a rehearsal. So perhaps Jordan will bring a comparable stability to Vienna. Whether he has more than that to offer, remains to be seen.
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Re: philippe jordan takes over vienna state opera

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:31 pm


Philippe Jordan (son of Armin Jordan) has had a rather medium career so far: his DVDs of operas from various houses have hardly received rave reviews, for he is consistetly good but not great. He seems to relate best to French music (no surprise there), and his best video in my library is his Werther, pictured above. The only nits I have to pick with the production (set in 1950's post-war Europe) is the fact that the line in the Christmas scene that refers to the "clavecin" that gave the couple so much happiness makes no sense in an era when the instrument in question would undoubtedly be a piano. The singing (Alvarez & Garanca) is exemplary, and the conducting is quite good.

Jordan the younger seems a more than competent choice for the post, and he seems to get along well with his colleagues: I wish him well.

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