Programme Guide

The Labèques are without doubt one of the finest piano duos of all time and began by demonstrating their prowess in Francis Poulenc’s demanding Concerto for Two Pianos, following this up with a hugely enjoyable series of musical character studies in the form of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, providing much amusement for the audience in the completely sold-out Waldbühne. Orchestra, conductor and soloists were perfectly matched as a team.

According to the critic of the Berliner Morgenpost, this support from two native French speakers also helped to ensure that the other pieces on the francophile programme were performed “in a thoroughly idiomatic manner, with effervescent wit and sensuous charm”. To accompany Ravel’s Boléro, the 23,000 spectators lit sparklers, and following the very last encore – Paul Lincke’s Berliner Luft, in which the orchestra’s chief conductor played the bass drum – this evening of French music, performed against a backdrop of balmy summer weather, ended with what the Morgenpost described as “cheering, fun and a fairground atmosphere – fantastique!”

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