Renée Fleming / Christoph Eschenbach / Wiener Philharmoniker

Sommernachtskonzert (Summer Night Concert) 2017

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AllMusic Review by James Manheim

The Vienna Philharmonic's 2017 Sommernachtskonzert or Summer Night Concert was recorded on May 25 at Schönbrunn Castle and was on the streets before the summer was even out, so if you saw the concert and it's still fresh in your mind, here you go. These concerts are major events of the Viennese summer, with attendance upwards of 100,000, and to an extent, they consist of giving the people what they want. The conductorship rotates among different A-listers, and for 2017 Christoph Eschenbach was invited back just three years after his 2014 appearance, and perhaps he felt justified in experimenting a bit; even the traditional closing-number Wiener-Blut is gone. The results are generally good. The superstar on hand is soprano Renée Fleming, and the album is worth the purchase price for the pair of Dvorák arias she sings at the beginning. Sample "Mesicku na Nebi Hlubokem," from Rusalka, for a taste of the still-considerable Fleming magic. The rather dark Rachmaninov pieces in the middle of the program were perhaps a less-inspired choice, although you can see where Eschenbach was going with Sumerki (Twilight) just corresponding with the end of the long Viennese summer evening. Things pick up again with the unexpected and certainly unconventional pairing of John Williams and Stravinsky's The Firebird toward the end, and Smetana's "Dance of the Comedians" from The Bartered Bride makes a fresh encore that fits this rather Slavic Wiener Sommernacht. An offbeat choice in the series, nicely recorded at the acoustically unforgiving Schloss by the Berlin Teldex engineering team.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 09:54 Amazon
Armida Op. 115
2 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 05:09 Amazon
Rusalka Op. 114
3 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 07:08 Amazon
The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite Op. 66a
4 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 06:43 Amazon
5 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 05:23 Amazon
6 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 02:33 Amazon
7 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 05:37 Amazon
8 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 02:29 Amazon
Hänsel und Gretel
9 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 08:50 Amazon
Harry Potter (soundtrack)
10 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 05:24 Amazon
L'Oiseau De Feu Ballet Suite
11 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 04:47 Amazon
12 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 03:33 Amazon
13 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 03:46 Amazon
The Bartered Bride
14 Christoph Eschenbach / Renée Fleming / Wiener Philharmoniker 04:22 Amazon
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