Due to the pandemic, only 3,000 invited guests were able to attend the summer night concert of the Vienna Philharmonic on Friday evening due to the pandemic – nevertheless, thanks to the TV broadcast, the classical event in Schönbrunn Palace became the summer music festival to end the corona pandemic. The ears of the audience were taken on a trip around the world under the motto “wanderlust”.
The event normally attracts around 100,000 visitors – despite the reduced number of guests, the program has not been cut back. Some of the coveted seats went to people who were “at the forefront in the medical field” or in elementary education “and partners who made the open-air concert possible – as a musical thank you, so to speak.
The soloist was the German star pianist Igor Levit, who with his house concerts during the Corona period had developed into something like the mouthpiece of classical music in lockdown. With the bravura piece of the “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” by Rachmaninoff, Levit now also ushered in the post-coronal period – together with the Philharmonic under Daniel Harding.
Political celebrities from home and abroad
Many politicians did not miss the event: In addition to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger, Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler and former Federal President Heinz Fischer, some high-ranking guests from abroad were also received: Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev and the Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic also did not miss the performance of the Vienna Philharmonic.
The overarching motto was slightly melancholy “Wanderlust”, which served as a bracket for a broad thematic arc, under which jazz things like Bernstein’s “Westside Story”, shimmering whispers like Debussy’s “Prelude à l’après-midi d’un faune” or a Holstian “Jupiter” with a slightly overemphasized dance found space. An evening for many tastes.
For the eye, a stage set in Art Deco reminiscence and a light organ were offered, which was one of the busiest instruments of the evening. So summer can come.