Distinguished conductor Lorin Maazel leads the fifth annual Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013 concert to be telecast on Great Performances,Friday, August 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). This year’s gala concert revolves around the works of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, both of whom would have celebrated their 200th birthday this year, and features German Canadian tenor soloist Michael Schade.
The outdoor concert in the magnificent baroque gardens of Imperial Schönbrunn Palace is free to thousands of attendees in Vienna, and serves the orchestra’s objective of making classical music accessible to a broad spectrum of concertgoers beyond its usual, core audience. The concert was recorded May 30 during a windswept rainstorm.
From Verdi comes the triumphal march from “Aida,” the overtures to “La Forza del Destino” as well as “La mia letizia infondere” from “I Lombardi.” The Wagner selections include the Grail Narrative from “Lohengrin” and music from his operas “The Mastersingers of Nuremberg,” “Tristan and Isolde,” and “Die Walküre.”
Despite the inclement weather, Maazel and his forces persevered: “The music-making seems to gain strength from the adverse conditions,” he later blogged. “Such memorable turns of phrase! The tenor, Michael Schade, undaunted, braves the elements for his two arias. Sings his heart out.”
Maazel, a former child prodigy, conducted his first concert at the age of nine years. In his career to date, he has worked with around 200 orchestras and is currently Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, and Executive and Artistic Director of the Castleton Festival. He has a close relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic, and has conducted the New Year’s Concert in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein (an annual tradition on Great Performances) no fewer than 11 times.
The full musical program follows:
Triumphal March from “Aida”
Prelude to “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”
“La mia letizia infonderer” from “I Lombardi” (Schade)
Prelude and Liebestod from “Tristan und Isolde”
Grail narrative from “Lohengrin” (Schade)
Overture to “La Forza del Destino”
Prelude to Act 3, “Die Walküre” (Ride of the Valkyries)
“Wiener Blut” Waltz
Long Live the Magyar! Quick Polka
On his website, the maestro summarized the performance, “Hats off to the indomitable Vienna Philharmonic,” adding “Do I dare confess I loved every minute of this mad, fabulous evening?”
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Over the course of its four decades, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013 is a production of ORF in collaboration with Wiener Philharmoniker in association with Thirteen for WNET (copyright ORF 2013).
Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013 is directed by Michael Beyer, with Heidelinde Rudy as executive producer. For Great Performances, John Walker and Richard R. Schilling are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
Major funding for the Great Performances telecast is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Vera von Kuffner Eberstadt ,The Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, public television viewers and PBS. Exclusive corporate support for the concert is provided by Rolex.