July 26, 2017
Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn 2017 to be Released by Sony Classical and Broadcast Nationwide on PBS, August 11 & 18
Terry Linke

Concert features conductor Christoph Eschenbach and soprano Renée Fleming in a program inspired by fairy tales and myths

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (July 26, 2017) — In May 2017, the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual Summer Night Concert was held for the first time directly in front of Vienna’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. This 14th annual concert—conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and featuring soprano Renée Fleming—will be released on CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital platforms by Sony Classical on Friday, August 11 and broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances on Friday, August 18 at 9 p.m. (check local listings).

Having previously conducted the 2014 Summer Night Concert, Mr. Eschenbach here leads a program that draws on German, French, Russian, English, and Czech fairytales, literature, and film, all with an element of fantasy. Among the works he conducts are selections from two ballet suites—Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Stravinsky’s L’Oiseau de feu—the Prelude from Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, the Carnival Concert Overture from Dvořák’s Armida, and Hedwig’s Theme from John Williams’s soundtrack to Harry Potter.

Renée Fleming sings two arias from operas by Dvořák—the “Song to the Moon” of the water nymph Rusalka and the aria of the sorceress Armida from the operas of those names—as well as three songs by Rachmaninoff: “Twilight,” “Oh, never sing to me again,” and “Spring Waters.”

As encores, the Vienna Philharmonic performs Smetana’s Dance of the Comedians fromThe Bartered Bride and—in a Summer Night Concert tradition—“Waltz King” Johann Strauss II’s “Wiener Blut” Waltz Op. 354.

The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concerts are free, open-air events held every year on the grounds of Vienna’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Known from 2004 to 2007 as a “Concert for Europe,” the annual Summer Night Concert has been conducted by Bobby McFerrin (2004), Zubin Mehta (2005 and 2015), Plácido Domingo (2006), Valery Gergiev (2007 & 2011), Georges Prêtre (2008), Daniel Barenboim (2009), Franz Welser-Möst (2010), Gustavo Dudamel (2012), Lorin Maazel (2013), Christoph Eschenbach (2014), and Semyon Bychkov (2016). Millions of viewers and listeners in more than 80 countries follow the concert on the Internet, TV, and radio, and up to 100,000 guests attend live. The event has aired on PBS’s Great Performances since 2009.

Christoph Eschenbach is in demand as a guest conductor for prominent orchestras and opera houses worldwide. Since 2010 he has been musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C.  Having begun his career as a pianist, he learned conducting under George Szell and Herbert von Karajan. Since making his debut as a conductor in 1972, he has led renowned orchestras, including the Tonhalle-Orchester in Zurich, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His repertoire ranges from J. S. Bach to contemporary music.

Four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming has achieved wide recognition in both the concert hall and opera house. In 2013, the President awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist, and she has performed on such occasions as the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The first classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, in 2008 she also became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

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SUMMER NIGHT CONCERT SCHÖNBRUNN 2017
SONY CLASSICAL (CD/DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)
PBS GREAT PERFORMANCES

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Renée Fleming, soprano

ANTONÌN DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)
(1) Carnival Concert Overture op. 92 (from Armida op. 115)
(2) Za štíhlou gazelou (As I merrily pursued a gazelle) (from Rusalka op. 114)
(3) Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém (Song to the Moon) (from Armida op. 115)

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893)
The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite op. 66a
(4) II. Adagio. Pas d’action
(5) V. Valse*

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873–1943)
(6) Sumerki (Twilight) op. 21/3
(7) Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne! (Oh, never sing to me again) op. 4/4
(8) Vesenniye vody (Spring Waters) op. 14/11

(#6 and #8 orchestrated by Walter Mnatsakanov)

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK (1854–1921)
(9) Prelude (from Hänsel und Gretel)

JOHN WILLIAMS (*1932)
(10) Hedwig’s Theme (from the Harry Potter soundtrack)

IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882–1971)
L’Oiseau de feu Ballet Suite (Version 1919)
(11) V. Danse infernale du roi Kachtcheï
(12) VI. Berceuse
(13) VII. Finale

ENCORES

BEDŘICH SMETANA (1824–1884)
(14) Dance of the Comedians (from The Bartered Bride)*

JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825–1899)
(15) “Wiener Blut” Waltz op. 354

*Omitted from PBS Great Performances broadcast

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For press copies, please contact:
Shuman Associates
(212) 315-1300 | shumanpr@shumanassociates.net 

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