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Crazy About Music

06/20/2012 -  
Music may or may not have included works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Niccolò Paganini, Fritz Kreisler, Astor Piazzolla, Sebastian Gürtler, Aleksey Igudesman, Hyung-ki Joo and others. There was definitely no music by Carlo Gesualdo or Pierre Boulez, unless by mistake.

Sebastian Gürtler (violin, bass, tenor, soprano), Aleksey Igudesman (violin & more), Hyung-ki Joo (piano & less), Viktoria Mullova (violin, tango, horizontal mini-cello)

A. Igudesman & H. Joo (© Julia Wesely)

“Crazy about Music” was the title of this season’s Igudesman & Joo concert cycle at the Vienna Konzerthaus. The cycle’s final concert, under the auspicious motto “Viktoria’s Little Secrets” featured guest artists Viktoria Mullova and Sebastian Gürtler. Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo are truly crazy about music, and anyone who isn’t, after one of their shows, must be incorrigible indeed!

It is notoriously difficult to describe comedy - you have to experience it yourself. If you hadn’t gone to “Viktoria’s Little Secrets”, you would have missed a piano being repaired while being played, tongue-in-cheek variations on the Nokia ringtone, and a curious session of Viktoria Mullova recording Bach. You would have missed Mullova kneeling down while attempting to give Bach/Gounod’s Ave Maria a more religious tone. Of course, you would not be haunted by Aleksey Igudesman as Argentinian violin-playing-while-tangoing swimmer... dressed in nothing but a tight speedo. You would have missed Hyung-ki Joo’s incredibly Viennese rendition of Kreisler’s Liebesleid (without violin), and La Cucaracha played from an edition that caused some page turning problems.

You would have also missed Aleksey Igudesman performing Kreiser’s Tambourin Chinois, coached by Karate Master Joo. Tambourin Chinois is already difficult enough as it is. Igudesman was able to perform it standing on one leg, with a tiny bow, with the bow under his leg, then running around the piano executing amazing Karate moves. You’d have missed the master class Hyun-ki Joo gave Viktoria Mullova on Paganini’s Caprice No. 17. And worst of all, you would have missed Sebastian Gürtler as cyber violinist, remote control operated by Aleksey Igudesmann. You would have missed Gürtler imitating the Viennese Oboe solo in the overture to a Romeo and Juliet inspired opera about two rival Italian pasta producers. You would have missed Gürtler performing the different roles of this opera, while accompanying himself on the violin. You would have missed a special Swiss edition of Who wants to be a Millionaire, and Sebastian Gürtler singing a “Wienerlied”, accompanied by Igudesman and Mullova on the violin and Joo on the mouth organ. Too bad you also would have missed Gürtler and Igudesman playing Bach in David Garrett style. Of course you also would have missed the We will survive routine that made the comedy duo world famous.

It takes incredible wit, intelligence and musical mastery to present an evening of such high quality comedy. The father of all classical music comedy, Victor Borge, once said: “If I have caused just one person to wipe away a tear of laughter, that's my reward.” Igudesman & Joo, together with Viktoria Mullova and Sebastian Gürtler, were certainly richly rewarded this night at the Vienna Konzerthaus!

Igudesman & Joo

Wiebke Kuester



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