What rock fans can do in the Pannonian expanse of Nova Rock, fans of classical music have long been able to do: Despite all the thunderstorms in the run-up, according to the organizers, 55,000 visitors gathered for Schönbrunn Palace on Thursday evening followed by the Vienna Philharmonic via a French evening. And the pseudo-Andalusian sounds of “Carmen” and Co ensured dry weather. In the end, “Vienna Blood” by Johann Strauss was the only liquid of the evening.
The only thing that cast one – or rather several – shadows on the event were the dancers of the youth company of the Staatsballet, who were projected as “shadow creatures” on the facade of Schönbrunn.
During the 20th edition of the classical event, Yannick Nézet-Séguin managed to make his personal summer evening concert debut between Strauss’ “Blut” and Ravel’s “Bolero” on stage, dry and confident.
The Philharmoniker and their maestro were assisted by the Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, who demonstrated her versatility in the French repertoire with three arias from Bizet’s “Carmen”, Gounod’s “Sapho” and Saint-Saëns’s “Samson et Dalila”. “Gold is coming out of her throat,” said Philharmoniker board member Daniel Froschauer delighted with the podium colleague.
The gold flowed in front of an audience of millions. After all, the circle of spectators at the summer night concert extends much further than the live guests. After the New Year’s concert, the format broadcast by the ORF on a delay is now the world’s most broadcast classical event, seen in over 80 countries.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which marks the 75th anniversary of its signing, has an even greater impact. On this occasion, the Philharmoniker dedicated Lili Boulanger’s “D’un matin de printemps”, which premiered in 1913, to this anniversary. “We firmly believe that an absolute and full commitment to human rights around the world is more important today than ever,” said Canadian Nézet-Séguin.
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