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Concerts in Dec. in Vienna

I will be in Vienna on a RS tour and would like to attend a concert. I have 2 evenings available: Fri. Dec. 6 and Sun. Dec. 8.
I checked on the St. Stephen’s Cathedral website and they list an Advent Concert at 22:00, or 10 pm. Could someone explain this to me? Or, is that the closing time of the Cathedral? Are the concerts not posted yet that far ahead?

I attended a wonderful opera at the State Opera Haus on my last visit so I’m not that interested in an opera for this trip. Is the Musikverein Haus a good venue for classical concerts? Perhaps I’m too early.
Thanks for your help!

Posted by
2932 posts

The Musikverein is , arguably , the greatest concert hall in the world . Few auditoria match it for acoustical clarity and detail . I have attended a number of concerts there , and it is , for me , an other worldly experience . 12/6 -https://www.musikverein.at/en/concert/eventid/39723 same program for 12/8 , a winner , don't miss it !

Posted by
1551 posts

Thanks, Steven, for your on-point advice! I know I’m going to enjoy the Christmas season even more now!

Posted by
1915 posts

I will also endorse the Great Hall (Großer Saal) of the Musikverein as a spectacular place to take in a concert. I have been there twice for performances. I did not see the Vienna Philharmonic there, though; I saw Concentus Musicus Wien, directed by my favorite conductor, the now-deceased Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

I noticed that the Vienna Philharmonic is doing 4 performances at the Musikverein Dec 6th through 9th, but only the Dec 6th performance has ticket sales through the Musikverein. I thought that odd. So... I went looking for an answer. It looks like the Dec 6th show is the "open to the public" show, the Dec 7th and 8th shows are "subscription concerts" that require a subscription sold by the Philharmonic to attend, and the Dec 9th performance is a "soiree," which also seems to require a subscription.

There is a note on the Musikverein site for the Dec 6th performance that says:

The presale for members starts at 9am on 07.10.2019
General advance
ticket sale starts at 9am on 14.10.2019

I don't know how good of seats you want, but a Musikverein membership can be purchased on the website for 75 euro to give you earlier access to buying tickets. I did not have a membership when I bought tickets for both performances I saw, but I did get up at 3 am US eastern time so that I could have first crack at getting tickets offered when the general advanced ticket sale window opened. For one show, I got decent balcony seats. For the other show, I splurged for front row far right, which ended up being great seats for watching Herr Harnoncourt, who was 87 years old at the time.

The Vienna Philharmonic website states that for the Dec 7, 8, and 9 performances,

A limited number of returned and standing room tickets for this
concert will become available beginning on December 2, 2019, at 9:30
AM either by telephone (01/505 6525); at the Ticket Office of the
Vienna Philharmonic, Kärntner Ring 12, 1010 Vienna; or online.

Posted by
1551 posts

Dave,
Very interesting, thanks for including these details. I noticed that 10/14 is a Monday, I’m not sure I will get up at 3 or even 4 am to buy a ticket. Maybe 5 or 5:30. I’m leaning toward the Friday night concert. But I will study a little further the other concert times and determine how they fit in with my other plans.

Another example of why I like the people on this forum, you are so helpful and give informed advice I can trust.

Posted by
1280 posts

Forget a Musikverein subscription. The waiting list for it is 5+ years long.

But there is always a reasonable chance to get tickets, even on short notice, because a noticable number of people who are entitled to watch a performance return their tickets being unable to attend for whatever reason.

If you are a couple best chances are when you accept single non-adjacent seats.

Posted by
1280 posts

I checked on the St. Stephen’s Cathedral website and they list an Advent Concert at 22:00, or 10 pm. Could someone explain this to me? Or, is that the closing time of the Cathedral?

This is the time the concert commences.

Posted by
1915 posts

wmt1,

"Musikverein subscription." I know you are one of the Vienna experts, and I give you due deference, but your term seems to conflate two things -- a Musikverein membership and a Vienna Philharmonic subscription.

A Musikverein membership is purchased through the Musikverein. The "regular membership" costs 75 euro this year and allows members earlier access to buying tickets than the general public (along with a few other perks). Supply is essentially unlimited. If the OP wants better seats, this would not be an unreasonable expense, if worth the cost to her.

A Vienna Philharmonic subscription (link above) is a subscription package that is purchased through the Vienna Philharmonic. I'm certainly not suggesting that getting a subscription is desirable or feasible for the OP and agree that the waiting list is crazy long (and requires an annual letter to keep your name on it). I posted the link just because I found the page that details the process for getting a subscription and the rules that govern it interesting reading.

(Edited after re-reading wmt1's comments.)

Posted by
1551 posts

Dave,
I did appreciate your comments about the subscription process and the inclusion of the link as well. I’m hoping the Friday night concert is a “real” one and not just a touristy collection of tunes put together for unsophisticated listeners.

Wmt1,
When I look at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral website, I think 22:00 is when the Advent Konzert ends, as it is under “termine”. I can’t imagine a concert beginning at 22:00 unless it is Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

Please help.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1551 posts

Dave,
Our next meeting is Sat. August 24 - Atlanta Travel group meeting. I will post a notice. Hope you can make it.

Posted by
1280 posts

Dave,

you are completely right. I phrased my comment very sloppily. Of course I meant the subscription of the Vienna Philharmonic concerts when referring to the (near endless) waiting list.

Sorry for the confusion I might have caused.

Posted by
1280 posts

I can’t imagine a concert beginning at 22:00 unless it is Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

But it is the case, 10pm. The German word "Termin" means event in the sense of a calendar entry; it has no relationship to the English words terminate or termination. (I am not talking about the Latin roots these words have in common.)

I have cross-checked the dates in Austia's most comprehensive event database, and the result was the same:
https://www.events.at/e/adventkonzerte-im-stephansdom-2019#st-241722310

Note: Vienna is a very safe city. It is no problem to walk on the streets or to use public transport even after such a late night concert.

Posted by
1915 posts

I’m hoping the Friday night concert is a “real” one and not just a
touristy collection of tunes put together for unsophisticated
listeners.

The Friday night performance is "real." It's the show performed for classical music enthusiasts who don't have a subscription to the Vienna Philharmonic's subscription shows. The Friday night program is identical to that for the subscription shows on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

The program from the Musikverein website:

Ludwig van Beethoven Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 5 Es-Dur,
op. 73

— Pause —

Igor Strawinsky Le Baiser de la Fée. Divertimento für Orchester („Der
Kuß der Fee”)

Ottorino Respighi Pini di Roma. Symphonische Dichtung

Looks like a great performance!

The more touristy shows in the Musikverein are done by The Wiener Mozart Orchester... various Mozart selections performed by an orchestra wearing "historical" attire. I understand the orchestra is technically very good, but the historical attire would be a little distracting for me, I think.

Posted by
1915 posts

Sadly (or maybe happily?), I won't make the Aug 24 meet up -- I'm headed to Slovenia for 24 nights on Aug 23. But I'll keep my eyes open for the September meeting!

Posted by
1551 posts

Wmt1,
Thanks for the clarification on the meaning of the word “termine”. I’m more concerned about the late time on Sunday night because I fly home the next day.

I might try for an earlier concert on Sunday.
I appreciate your help.

Dave,
Again, thanks for the assurance that Friday night’s concert is “real”! I will plan to attend that one.

And, happily for you that you are going to Slovenia! My guess is the meeting will be the 3rd or 4th Saturday of September. 9/21 or 9/28.
I appreciate all the help on my questions.

Posted by
2932 posts

Judy , give a listen to the program and read about the compositions before you go . The Fairy's Kiss draws on early work by Tchaikovsky and is quite melodic even though it comes from his neoclassic period . " The Pines of Rome " is programmatic and finds its inspiration from the Pines planted in the City . This descriptive article will help explain - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pines_of_Rome

Posted by
1551 posts

Steven,
I didn’t realize the Tchaikovsky piece was The Fairy’s Kiss, I’m not familiar with it. I will try to find a recording of it. Maybe my local library. I do know the Beethoven’s Piano Concerto and Respighi’s The Pines of Rome. I appreciate the link you attached too.

This is exciting, I will look forward to this concert evening, thanks to all of you.