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A short chronology of the project
1945-49 : Walter Weller's father is a violinist at the Wiener Philharmoniker and a friend of Richard Strauss ; he teaches the violin to the composer's grandson and to his own son, Walter. The latter is warmly encouraged by the old Master who gives him a signed photograph.
1953 : Walter Weller turns 13 and plays occasional stand-inns at the Wiener Philharmoniker...
1957 : He wins a competition to become a titular violinist and, aged 20, is appointed Koncertmeister when he performs, accompanied at the piano by an overwhelmed Karajan, the daunting soli of Ein Heldenleben.
1960-1971 : During 12 years, Walter Weller regularly performs these solos in concert, often accompanied by Karl Böhm.
1972 : Walter Weller abandons the violin and bids farewell to the Vienna Philharmonic and its fabulous string quartet, a Decca catalogue favourite. He has fully succumbed to the baton's virus.
1972-2007 : He now launches on a brilliant conductors career, six years after a chance substitution for Böhm at the helm of the Vienna Philharmonic. Most of his recordings are made under the Decca label (some are absolute references), principally in the Anglo-Saxon orbit (Liverpool, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra), with numerous outings in the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland (Bâle opéra ) and Spain.
2006 : Walter Weller is appointed director of the Belgian National Orchestra. He decides to conduct a series of recordings with Fuga Libera. The label introduces him to the Bulgarian pianist Plamena Mangova whose secret dream it is to play...Richard Strauss' Burleske . Weller, who has often conducted the piece with Arrau and Gulda at the piano, warns the young virtuoso: It's very difficult, we'll have to see....
2007 : After two concert performances, all is seen : the project is duly launched.
2008 : And what a nice, symbolic « compliment » if one adds a confidence from Weller to the label's artistic director: Ein Heldenleben : The Orchestra has the right sound to do that....