Summer Concert 2016
BIZET: Farandole fromL'Arlesienne. BERLIOZ: Hungarian March. POULENC: Concerto for Two Pianos. SAINT-SAËNS:¨ Finale from Carnival of the Animals. RAVEL: Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2. Boléro. OFFENBACH: Can-Can. JOHANN STRAUSS II: Vienna Blood Waltz.
Katia and Marielle Labeque, pianists. Vienna Philharmonic Orch/Semyon Byuchkov, cond.

BEETHOVEN: Symphonyh No. 1 in C, Op. 21. Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36. SymphonyNo. 3 in E flat, Op. 55 "Eroica."
Bavarian Radio Orch/Mariss Jansons, cond.
ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 116 min. + 44 min. bonus
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MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488. Violin Concerto NO. x in A, K. 219. Francesco Corti, fortepiano. Thibault Noally, violin. Les Musiciens du Louvre/Mark Minkowski, cond.
C MAJOR DVD TT: 56 min. + 16 min. bonus
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This site has mentioned several of the remarkable Summer Concerts featuring the Vienna Philharmonic: with Valery Gergiev (REVIEW), and Gustavo Dudamel (REVIEW). These concerts take place in the baroque gardens of the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. This is a summertime ritual attended by thousands with the orchestra performing on a special stage with profuse lighting and amplification. The 2016 concert was conducted by Semyon Bychkov, an all-French program with the exception of the Johann Strauss concluding waltz. It was a terrific concert in every way, highlighted by Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos with the amazing Labeque sisters in top form. Also featured was Ravel, the second suite from Daphnis and Chloe, and one of the mostly exciting performances I've ever heard of Boléro. In the latter, Bychkov's leisurely tempo was just right, and he gave all of the soloists latitude to phrase as they wished, building to a rousing climax. Video is remarkable. Twelve camera operators are listed as well as three video engineers; all have done their work to perfection. Audio is excellent. There are countless memorable scenes, and close-ups of players in the orchestra. This is a delightful terrific show in every way. Don't miss it!

Mariss Jansons visited Tokyo in 2012 with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has had a long relationship with the orchestra, first conducting them un 2003l. His contract as Chief Conductor continues untiul 2021. They presented a series of all of the Beethoven symphonies recorded in Suntory Hall. All were issued several years ago on regular DVD and now they are available on Blu Ray. Surely these are fine performances well recorded in the warm acoustics of the venue. But there is keencompetition on DVD, particularly from Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic to mentiuon only two. There are two more disks in the Blu Ray series, one con tains Symphonies 4, 5 and 6; the other (102177 ) holds 7, 8 and 9. prefverable to the Jansons, better sonically as well.

Mark Minkowski leads "authentic Mozart performances" on this DVD recorded during Mozart Week 2015 in Salzburg. He conducts Les Muusiciens du Louvre, which he founded in 1982. Their purpose is total authenticity, performances that display how Mozart's music would have sounded in the year it was composed. Original instruments are used producing a sound quite different from what is usually heard. Here we have the Piano Concerto No. 23 K. 488 with fortepianist Francesco Corti as soloist, and Thibault Noally plays the Violin Concerto K. 219. Both instruments originally were owned by Mozart. As a bonus we have Mozart's Sonata in E minor K. 304 played by Noally and Corti, plus the finale of Schubert's C major Symphony D. 944 (here identified as Symphony No. 8). All of these works are beautifully performed, and the engineers have done their job well. The onlyh negative is that even with the bonus, playing time is rather short.


R.E.B. (September 2016)