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Muti and the Wiener Philharmoniker

Salzburg Festival / Salzburg / Music

For years, music lovers have been pleading with Riccardo Muti to conduct that Everest of the sacred repertoire, Beethoven’s unorthodox Missa Solemnis. At last the time has come. Performances announced for last year with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, of which Muti is music director, were the saddest casualties of a season cut short by the pandemic. Now, the stage is set for make-up dates with the self-governing Vienna Philharmonic, where Muti ranks as the most revered of guests. (And these dates are likely to hold. Thanks to meticulous protocols, religiously observed, last year’s edition of the Salzburg Festival pulled off an abridged yet still ambitious schedule of live opera, concerts, and drama, reportedly without a single traceable case of the coronavirus.) Several seasons back, when Muti led his first German Requiem of Brahms with the same forces under the same auspices, the heavens opened. At a guess, they will do so again. —M.G.

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