NR Digital

A Salzburg Quartet

by Jay Nordlinger

Salzburg, Austria — The Vienna Philharmonic is the king orchestra here: the resident orchestra, the nightly orchestra. But there are guests, including the Philharmonia Orchestra. This is a London group, founded in 1945 by Walter Legge, a famous English record producer — who was married to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, the German soprano, who was a big star at this festival, the Salzburg Festival (and everywhere else).

In the Great Festival Hall, the Philharmonia Orchestra played a program of Strauss and Bruckner. The Strauss was the Four Last Songs. The Bruckner was the Ninth Symphony. It would be hard to imagine a more profound or sublime program. How are we expected to go on with mortal life, after hearing this?

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