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Arts & Culture

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Vienna Philharmonic Sumer Night Concert 2016

Semyon Bychkov conducts the Vienna Philharmonic at Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. The mostly French program includes works by Bizet, Poulenc, Ravel, Offenbach and Johann Strauss II. With French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Courtesy of Foto Richard Schuster
Semyon Bychkov conducts the Vienna Philharmonic at Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. The mostly French program includes works by Bizet, Poulenc, Ravel, Offenbach and Johann Strauss II. With French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque.

Airs Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at 6 p.m. on KPBS TV

Semyon Bychkov conducts an all-French program, with guest soloists Katia and Marielle Labèque

Led by guest conductor Semyon Bychkov for the very first time, the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic returns for its 13th open-air concert, with a program of French orchestral classics, in the magnificent gardens of Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. "The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2016" airs on THIRTEEN’s GREAT PERFORMANCES on PBS.

Conductor Semyon Bychkov
Courtesy of ©Musacchio & Ianniello
Conductor Semyon Bychkov
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The concert soloists on this occasion will be the renowned French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque, the latter wife of maestro Bychkov.

From the "Farandole," a rousing dance from George Bizet’s "L’Arlésienne Suite" to the evening’s one non-Gallic offering, the traditional encore of Johann Strauss II’s ever-popular “Wiener Blut,” the concert is a sure-fire mix of crowd-pleasers.

Francis Poulenc’s 1932 “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor” – with its homage to Mozart and Asian music — gives the Labèque sisters a fine opportunity to demonstrate their virtuosity. Maurice Ravel’s ever-popular “Boléro” is said to have prompted its composer to remark sardonically, “I have only written one masterpiece – the bolero. Unfortunately, there’s no music in it!” referring to the piece’s stunning rhythmicity. Offenbach’s effervescent cancan music from his operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld” is the first of two encores.

Marielle and Katia Labeque
Courtesy of ©Umberto Nicoletti
Marielle and Katia Labeque

This free outdoor concert, recorded in May, allows the distinguished orchestra to make classical music accessible to establish a following beyond its usual core audience. The annual event is produced by the ORF, and transmitted live or delayed in more than 80 countries worldwide.

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The Russian-born Bychkov left the country when he was 20 for political reasons, and his rapid career success led him into all of the important opera houses and concert halls as a young man.

The full musical program is as follows:

  • Georges Bizet - Farandole from L’Arlésienne, Suite No. 2;
  • Francis Poulenc - Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor, FP 61
  • Maurice Ravel - Boléro, Ballet for Orchestra

Encores:

  • Offenbach - Infernal Galop from Orpheus in the Underworld
  • Johann Strauss II - Wiener Blut, waltz
The Vienna Philharmonic
Courtesy of Richard Schuster
The Vienna Philharmonic

CONNECT:

Semyon Bychkov is on Facebook. Vienna Philharmonic is on Facebook, and you can follow @Vienna_Phil on Twitter. GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter.

CREDITS:

GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. "Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2016" is a production of ORF in collaboration with Wiener Philharmoniker in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. Directed for television by Henning Kasten. Executive producer: Karin Veitl.

For GREAT PERFORMANCES, John Walker and Richard R. Schilling are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Semyon Bychkov conducts Farandole

"Semyon Bychkov

Infernal Galop

"Semyon Bychkov

Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2016

"Led by guest conductor Semyon Bychkov for the very first time

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