The musicians of the Belgrade Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz were rewarded with several minutes of enthusiastic cheering and applause after a brilliantly played program at the first in their series of three concert evenings (March 4, BGP Hall). Maestro Feltz appropriately announced that the concert program was fit for the League of Champions, and the standing ovation after the performance overwhelmed all the restrictions in the hall.
At the beginning of the concert, just before the performance of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, the audience was in for a surprise. Gabriel Feltz conducted a kind of guided tour through this composition of extreme complexity, explaining why the work was significant, innovative, and still avant-garde.
“Schoenberg’s composition was premiered in Vienna in 1913 and at that time caused a veritable scandal. We hope there will be no scandal tonight,” Maestro Feltz quipped, alluding to the fact that the debut of this work was interrupted by a revolt against the unusual harmonies. That is why Gabriel Feltz and the musicians, who initially played short passages, familiarized the audience with the characteristic parts and harmonic innovations that Schoenberg introduced into his compositional process.
The Chamber Symphony was written for only 15 musicians, with each of them seemingly having a solo role. The audience followed the performance with bated breath and in the end burst into frenetic applause, while Maestro Feltz gave credit to each musician individually as a sign of special respect.
The performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony was accompanied by equal enthusiasm. The concert ended with mutual applause between the audience, the orchestra, the musicians, and the conductor.