“Aural pleasure at the Wolkenturm” is how the Kurier newspaperdescribed it, referring to the “top-flight summer night’s gala from Grafenegg”, taking place for the ninth time in the picturesque open air ambience of Grafenegg, Lower Austria. Under the artistic overall direction of pianist Rudolf Buchbinder the Grafenegg Festival has blossomed into a benchmark event for all the top stars on the classical music scene. At this year’s Summer Night’s Gala the shining stars were “top tenor Piotr Beczala and his equally outstanding colleague, mezzo soprano Elisabeth Kulman,” (Kurier) no less. On the rostrum stood the new principal conductor of the Tonkünstler-Orchester of Lower Austria, Yutaka Sado, giving his debut at the Wolkenturm venue.
The highlights of the programme included Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, performed with fiery spirit by Julia Fischer, while Elisabeth Kulman shone with “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson et Dalila and the Seguidilla from Georges Bizet’s Carmen, and Piotr Beczala gave a fine interpretation of “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Jules Massenet’s opera Werther and “Wenn es Abend wird” from Emmerich Kálmán’s Gräfin Mariza.
A potpourri of lovely melodies from the world of opera, operetta and the concert hall, which brought praise from the audience and from the Wiener Zeitung: “Piotr Beczala’s wonderful operetta top notes,Elisabeth Kulman’s rich mezzo and Julia Fischer’s graceful violin playing with her refined reading of catchy Spanish tunes” are the ingredients for an unmatched evening recital in Grafenegg.
BIZET Overture from Carmen
MASSENET “Pourquoi me réveiller“ from Werther
SAINT-SAËNS “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Samson et Dalila
BIZET “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen
BIZET Seguidilla from Carmen
DE SARASATE Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
VERDI “Stride la vampa“ from Il Trovatore
DE FALLA Danza ritual del fuego from El amor brujo
KÁLMÁN “Wenn es Abend wird“ from Gräfin Mariza
DE SARASATE Introduction et tarantelle for Violin and Orchestra
LEHÁR “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” from Das Land des Lächelns
PORTER Overture from Kiss me Kate
PORTER “I hate men” from Kiss me Kate
KÁLMÁN “Tanzen möcht’ ich” from Die Csárdásfürstin
ELGAR Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1