The 2016 Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert

With Semyon Bychkov, Katia Labèque, and Marielle Labèque

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Program notes

Every year, as the days grow longer, Austria gets ready for one of the classical calendar’s highlights: the Vienna Philharmonic’s Summer Night Concert. This event, inaugurated in 2004, brings the prestigious ensemble together with some of the world’s most illustrious soloists—in front of an audience that regularly numbers more than 100,000—in the gardens of Vienna’s world-famous Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2016, Semyon Bychkov—who served as music director of the Orchestre de Paris for a decade—leads a spectacular Summer Night Concert with a French theme. Joining him are the Labèque sisters, Katia and Marielle (who is also Bychkov's wife), an internationally acclaimed piano duo who tackle a lesser-heard gem here: Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos, inspired by wonderfully diverse sources, from Ravel and Mozart to the perpetual motion of Balinese gamelan music. The orchestra is also impeccable in Bizet's irresistible Farandole (from L'Arlésienne), Berlioz's Hungarian March, and two masterpieces by Ravel: the rapturous Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 and the indispensable Boléro.

Photo © Richard Schuster

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