The only real friendship the Vienna Philharmonic had had, remarked Otto Strasser, who was one of the orchestra's violinists for many years, "was called Richard Strauss". For his part, in “admiration and gratitude”, the composer thanked the orchestra for “many hours of the most beautiful artistic enjoyment”. It is one of the unwritten laws of tradition that the Salzburg Festival actually only begins with its music. So this year too. Franz Welser-Möst conducted the first Philharmonic concert and the resumption of the extraordinarily successful production of "Elektra" from last year.

A big hit at the beginning: the suite from “Der Rosenkavalier”. He immediately put the audience of the almost sold out house with the ejaculatory horn calls of the initial

con moto agitato

- the ecstasies of the night of love between the marshal and her lover boy - in high spirits; then no less with the waltz transfigurations than with the sweet-melodic quotations from the final song, in which the oboist sang elegiac-sweetly like only the voices usually. The link at the end of the “Alpine Symphony”, which was surprisingly rarely performed at the festival, was a homage to Hugo von Hofmannsthal: six monologues from “Jedermann”, written in 1943 by the Swiss composer Frank Martin at the request of the baritone Max Christmann. The devout composer was deeply impressed by the fever of these visions of fear and farewell to the world (not actually monologues), in which "the psychological and spiritual development of the main character" is expressed. The effect of these verses, composed syllabically,depends on the sharp relief of a chiseled word-sound shape.

Difficult to understand language

Baritone Matthias Goerne did not find it easy to cope with these recitation requirements.

His voice, increasingly used in dramatic opera roles in recent years, has become heavier.

It is precisely because of its impressive abundance that word formation - the concise, rapid connection of articulatory and resonatory elements - becomes a problem.

It is true that in his lecture he paid attention to the pathos of distance and renounced those exaggerations that Roland Barthes rejected as “pleonasm of intention”.

Only the language in which “the Gospel teaches us salvation through love” (Martin) remained difficult to understand without reading along the text.

In an interview, Franz Welser-Möst pointed out that it was not in Richard Strauss' “mindset” to surrender to exuberance. Especially advisable when it comes to the splendor of his mightiest tone poem: the “Alpine Symphony”. In his own words, the composer “learned to instrument” with this work - the art of combining sixty strings with every conceivable instrument, including percussion of all kinds, plus wind and thunder machines, cowbells and tam-tams. After the nocturnal start of the mountain hike, the musicians are challenged in every station, even more: put before solo tests of courage, for example when the oboe forms its figurations with the gigantic sound of the glacier blissfully and obliviously after the strenuous climb to the summit.Welser-Möst and the brilliantly playing Philharmonic succeeded in giving the effects, which were often criticized as superficial - the glitter of a rainbow-colored waterfall, the tinkling of bells, the thunder of a thunderstorm - the splendid shine in which “the adoration of the eternal , wonderful nature “(Strauss) fulfilled.