Austrian Embassy Cultural Series: From Mozart to Michael Jackson

Went to the Austrian Embassy last night to see pianist Michael Kahr & violinist Barbara Helfgott play mostly pop songs with a tape recording of background music the occasionally overloaded the former. Helfgott showed some mad violin playing skillz, particularly in their cover of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “Fantasy.” Kahr, who first played a couple of numbers unaccompanied before Helfgott came out, got his own chance to play the opening of Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling,” an instrumentation that actually was wonderfully atmospheric. Though perhaps the one that made the most impact emotionally as when they did Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time.” It seems this recital was a last minute addition to the embassy’s season of cultural shows, to the point they didn’t even have programs, and it did drive me a little crazy when three of the songs sounded like I’d heard them before, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what they were. They were introduced as playing songs we’ve all heard already, though I suspect they overestimated how many Americans have heard “Music Was My First Love.” The show was called “From Mozart to Michael Jackson,” though neither showed up until the encores; they initially tried to close with “Billie Jean” as the second encore, but people in the audience started shouting “Mozart!” as which point Helfgott played the Queen of the Night’s revenge aria completely unaccompanied!
It was a heavily attended show, possibly due to some people in DC still lacking power. So many people drove into Embassy Row we had to park at the far end, by the Nigerian Embassy(insert spammer joke here).

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One thought on “Austrian Embassy Cultural Series: From Mozart to Michael Jackson

  1. I liked it enough too to blog. I couldn’t title any of the songs though so many were familiar 🙂

    Miss Drake

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