Zubin Mehta conducts Russian masterpieces — With Daniel Barenboim

Waldbühne 1997: St. Petersburg White Night

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Program notes

Originally constructed for the 1936 Summer Olympics, the Waldbühne in Berlin has become a coveted spot for sporting events, film screenings, and concerts—like the yearly summer concert by the beloved Berliner Philharmoniker, which sees thousands of music fans flock to the magnificent outdoor venue for a world-class experience under the stars. In the 1997 edition, the great Zubin Mehta led the prestigious ensemble in a “St. Petersburg Night” of Russian favorites, joined by piano virtuoso Daniel Barenboim!

After the outdoor extravaganza begins with Glinka’s spirited overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila, Barenboim takes the stage to perform the solo role in Tchaikovsky’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 1, full of fire and drama, a perfect showpiece to fill the expanse of the Waldbühne. Before the evening is up, you’ll also hear two gems by Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov’s dazzling Flight of the Bumblebee, and excerpts from two of the most iconic ballet scores ever composed: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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