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Organization founded in 1900 to give concerts in Vienna.

The Concert Union was founded in 1900, and used the large hall of the Musikverein Building as its "home" until 1913, when the Vienna Concert House (Wiener Konzerthaus) was built, and the Union moved its base there and became the Vienna Concert House Society (Wiener Konzerthaus Gesellschaft).

In the very early years, the Concert Union gave three categories of concerts: (A) Symphony Concerts, (B) Popular (volkstümlich) Symphony Concerts, and (C) Popular (populär) Orchestra Concerts ‒ these last at 5 p.m. on Sundays (in the large hall) and Thursdays (in the Volksgarten). Those in category A were divided into three subcategories: (1) Regular Symphony Concerts (the two main subscription series, on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings); (2) Irregular Symphony Concerts ("statutory member concerts"), both of which sets of concerts took place in the large hall of the Musikverein Building at 7.30 p.m., and (3) Out-of-Town (auswärtig) Symphony Concerts, given in locations such as Linz, Graz, Prague, Laibach (Ljubljana), and Trieste.

The Concert Union had its own orchestra (Wiener Konzertvereinsorchester), conducted from 1904 by Ferdinand Löwe, later by Leopold Reichwein, which in 1921 changed its name to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (VSO) (Wiener Sinfonie Orchester, from 1933 Wiener Symphoniker). The orchestra's repertory was less conservative than that of the Vienna Philharmonic.

The Concert Union and Schenker

Schenker regularly attended Concert Union concerts, and reported them in his diary, beginning the entry with the standard abbreviation "K.-V." and providing a brief critique of the performance and works. Schenker also belonged to a circle of friends many of whom were active in the Concert Union; men such as Karl August Artaria, Paul Hammerschlag, Richard Heuberger, Robert Hirschfeld, and Ferdinand Löwe, with whom he attended concerts and met in coffee-houses for animated discussions.

Source

  • Grove Music Online (Vienna §5 (iii)‒(iv) (Leon Botstein)
  • Musikbuch aus Oesterreich 1906, ed. Richard Heuberger (Vienna and Leipzig: k.-k. Hofbuchdruckerei, 1905), pp. 68‒69, 94‒95

Contributor:

  • Ian Bent

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Correspondence

Diaries