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A “Night of Love” with Ion Marin and Renée Fleming at the Waldbühne

27 Jun 2010
From the Berlin Waldbühne

Berliner Philharmoniker
Ion Marin

Renée Fleming

  • Modest Mussorgsky
    St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain (11 min.)

  • Antonín Dvořák
    Rusalka: “Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém” (Song to the Moon) (7 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Aram Khachaturian
    Spartacus: Spartacus and Phrygia (11 min.)

  • Richard Strauss
    Capriccio: “Morgen Mittag um elf!” (19 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Richard Wagner
    Rienzi: Overture (13 min.)

  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Die tote Stadt: “Glück, das mir verblieb” (Marietta’s Song) (6 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Richard Strauss
    Zueignung, op. 10 no. 1 (1 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Edward Elgar
    Salut d’amour, op. 12 (5 min.)

  • Giacomo Puccini
    La Bohème: “Donde lieta uscì” (4 min.)

  • Ruggero Leoncavallo
    La Bohème: “Musette svaria sulla bocca viva” (2 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Ruggero Leoncavallo
    La Bohème: “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (2 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Giacomo Puccini
    Turandot: “Tu che di gel sei cinta” (4 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare (22 min.)

  • Grigoraş Dinicu
    Hora staccato (3 min.)

  • Giacomo Puccini
    Gianni Schicchi: “O mio babbino caro” (3 min.)

    Renée Fleming Soprano

  • Paul Lincke
    Berliner Luft (5 min.)

Before setting off on their annual summer leave, the Berliner Philharmoniker traditionally give their final concert of the season at the city’s open-air Waldbühne. In 2010 the conductor was Romanian-born Ion Marin, who now lives in Austria, while the soloist was the American soprano Renée Fleming. Under the motto “Night of Love” they presented a programme made up of orchestral classics by Mussorgsky, Wagner and Tchaikovsky alongside ingratiating operatic melodies by Puccini, Dvořák, Leoncavallo, Smetana, Korngold and Richard Strauss.

The evening began with Mussorgsky’s St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain, a piece that tells of a far from balmy summer’s evening: according to Russian folklore witches meet for their annual Sabbath on St. John’s Eve towards the end of June. Mussorgsky’s tone poem paints a picture of their wild cavorting in colours that glow like red-hot coals. As if seeking to tame these turbulent spirits, Renée Fleming then sang Dvořák’s “Song to the Moon”, an aria that seems to shimmer in the moonlight and that was followed by a rarely heard number from Smetana’s opera Dalibor. After that an instrumental love duet from Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus provided a transition to the Countess’s closing monologue from Richard Strauss’s last opera, Capriccio, a signature role for Renée Fleming, a singer in international demand as a Strauss soprano.

The second half of the concert was launched by the orchestra playing the Overture to Wagner’s Rienzi, after which Renée Fleming sang “Marietta’s Song” from Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, performing it, according to the Berliner Zeitung, with “bewitching mellifluousness”. A particular treat was the juxtaposition of two settings of La Bohème that revealed how Leoncavallo’s Mimì is a substantially more robust character than Puccini’s. The official programme ended with Tchaikovsky’s languorous fantasy overture Romeo and Juliet about arguably the most famous pair of lovers of all time. The first encore was by Gregoriaş Dinicu, allowing Ion Marin to pay homage to his Romanian homeland, after which Renée Fleming sang Puccini’s wistful aria “O mio babbino caro”, demonstrating once again how much she feels at home on the Waldbühne stage: “It’s a wonderful place. When you’re standing there on the stage, you feel that your singing could soar up to the heavens themselves.”


© 2010 EuroArts Music International

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