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The "Concert for Europe", an open air event which the Vienna Philharmonic presents annually in the park at Schönbrunn Palace, took place on May 24, 2007 for the fourth time. In contrast to previous years, which were characterized by less than ideal weather conditions, this year’s concert enjoyed exceptional weather which served to boost the numbers of people in attendance well over the usual 70,000 to 90,000.
More that 130,000 people turned out for this year’s event, including the Austrian President, Dr. Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Wilhelm Molterer, and other members of the Austrian Parliament, such as former Chancellors Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel and Dr. Franz Vranitzky. The program was primarily dedicated to Russian music and conducted by Valery Gergiev. Following excepts from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s ballets "Nutcracker" (March characteristique - Danse de la Fée Dragée - Danse arabe - Danse chinoise - Danse des mirlitons - Danse russe Trépak) and "Swan Lake" (Scéne, Beginning of Act II, - Pas de deux, Act II - Scéne finale, Act IV), the second half of the official program was comprised of the second part of Igor Strawinsky’s "The Rite of Spring", featuring the solo dancer Kathrin Czerny and other members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet.
he encores began with one of the Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful melodies, the "Panorama", from his ballet "Sleeping Beauty", and also included the waltz from the stage music to Michail Jurjewitsch Lermontow’s drama, "Maskerade", composed by Aram Khachaturian. After this came a work chosen by the readership of a major daily newspaper, the Sabre Dance from Khachaturian’s ballet "Gajaneh", this played twice as a response to Gergiev’ offer to the audience. The finale for the evening’s concert, which was broadcast live by the Austrian Broadcasting Co., consisted of two works by Johann Strauss: "Wiener Blut", op. 354, which has thus far been performed at each of these concerts, as well as the fast polka, "Unter Donner und Blitz", op. 324.
Photo Gallery Schönbrunn