Vienna Philharmonic Transcript
February 25th, 2022
Jeff Spurgeon: On this Carnegie Hall live broadcast, we are complete romantics. Two of the most beloved works of the great 20th century master Sergei Rachmaninoff will be performed in a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. I'm Jeff Spurgeon backstage at Carnegie Hall with John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And Jeff, they are only two works, but they are two of the iconic examples of late romanticism. Each of them bearing the number two. Whether you say “Rach-two” to refer to the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, or the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, we've got you covered. Now there have been some changes to the cast that will be performing these pieces. The Russian conductor, Valery Gergiev was to have led the Vienna Philharmonic and the Russian pianist, Denis Matsuev was to have been the soloist in the piano concerto, but larger events in that part of the world have conspired to make that impossible. And, instead we have our old friend Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the always busy conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra stepping in on very short notice to lead the Vienna Philharmonic here at Carnegie Hall. And the soloist in the piano concerto is the young Korean musician Seong-Jin Cho.
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The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world’s most renowned orchestras. They've been around for 180 years in a city that could make a strong argument for being the capital of the art form in Europe. After all, Hayden and Mozart and Schubert and Beethoven and Brahms and the Strausses except Richard, Bruckner and Mahler and Schoenberg, and many other composers have called Vienna home.
John Schaefer: And the Vienna Philharmonic has a distinctive culture itself. They have their own playing traditions. They even have instruments, especially in the winds and reeds that are different, subtly different from anything else you'll find in a European orchestra. Also, they don't have a permanent music director. Instead they bring in conductors to work on particular concerts or series of performances. And the musicians are brought into the Philharmonic very carefully. They're considered, just considered for membership only after they've played for three years in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, the Vienna Phil is a self-governing organization and we spoke with their chairman and one of their violinists Daniel Froschauer about coming back to Carnegie Hall.
Daniel Froschauer: Carnegie Hall is a very special place for me of course. Carnegie Hall is one of these halls that radiates history, you know. That Tchaikovsky was here, [the] feel[ing when] you walk inside the hall it's truly special.
John Schaefer: Well this special place apparently has a broom closet somewhere where they store their Yannick Nézet-Séguin's and they've pulled one.
Jeff Spurgeon: I mean, there's gotta be more than one of him, right? And he is appearing once again, on this stage on very short notice to lead the Vienna Philharmonic of course working with the Philadelphians, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, or should also mention his hometown of Montreal where he leads the Orchestre Métropolitain.
And the soloist tonight is the young South Korean phenom Seong-Jin Cho. He's already had quite the career and he's just 27 years old. He jumped to fame in 2015 when he won first prize at the illustrious Chopin International Piano Competition and then just a month later, his all Chopin album featuring recordings from the competition hit the number one spot on the Korean chart, not the classical chart, the Korean pop chart number one.
John Schaefer: And he followed that up with a sold out Carnegie Hall recycled debut in 2017. And he returns tonight stepping in at the very last moment for Denis Matsuev.
And he's stepping in with a piece that, Jeff, you make that distinction between the classical chart and the pop chart. This Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto is a work that has appeared on both of those charts here in the states. And we'll maybe get to that in a minute or two, but at the time that he wrote it, Rachmaninoff was suffering from severe depression. His first symphony was a disaster. And so he sought help in psychotherapy and hypnosis from a doctor named Nikolai Dahl, who, as it turned out, was also an accomplished musician.
So, Rachmaninoff ended up dedicating this concerto to him and the work became a breakthrough for Rachmaninoff and really helped establish his career as a composer. And it's a listener favorite, but I think we have to say Jeff, it is a real challenge for the pianist.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yes, very much so...
John Schaefer: Because Rachmaninoff was known, like Franz Liszt, to have had long, large hands.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yeah. Long fingers.
John Schaefer: Mm-hmm He could span from pinky to thumb. He could cover an octave and a fifth, which makes this piece challenging for smaller musicians. Little bit of history, Rachmaninoff made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1909, playing this very piece with Max Fiedler in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Jeff Spurgeon: The Vienna Philharmonic chairman and violinist Daniel Froschauer told us about his orchestra's connection, which is not as deep to this particular work.
Daniel Froschauer: First of all, the piano concerto of course, is a piano concerto war horse. We have played number three, quite a bit, actually and is for me personally, the first time to play number two. Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony, we have a little bit [of] history with that piece. We've played it [with] several conductors. So we know it more than the second piano concerto. Although I have to say Rachmaninoff came to Vienna 1936 and played it with the orchestra. We have a history of, I think the style of its writing is a style that fits our orchestra.
John Schaefer: Well, we'll hear both of those Rachmaninoff pieces played by the Vienna Phil shortly. The Second Piano Concerto, by the way, as we alluded to a moment ago has made the rounds of pop culture. The melody was featured in the 1945 song, “Full Moon and Empty Arms” credited to Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman and sung by a young Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra - Full Moon and Empty Arms
John Schaefer: The song was called “Full Moon and Empty Arms”, Frank Sinatra singing it. The songwriters were Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman, but obviously Sergei Rachmaninoff had a hand in that as well as they borrowed his melody three decades later in 1975. The pop singer, Eric Carmen famously used the melody from the second movement of the Rachmaninoff concerto in his hit song “All by Myself”
Eric Carmen - All by Myself
John Schaefer: A funny little coda to the story of this Eric Carmen song. And apparently did not occur to the songwriter that in 1975, the Rachmaninoff piano concerto would still be under copyright until he got a phone call from Rachmaninoff's estate, but it was all settled. He ended up paying a percentage of the royalties of that song to the Rachmaninoff estate, and was clearly undeterred from assaulting the charts again, with Rachmaninoff's music, because he would later use the melody from the Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninoff from the second half of our concert tonight for his song, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”.
Jeff Spurgeon: Very practical man, Eric Carmen. He knew where to get the good stuff. The second piano concerto with Rachmaninoff, also very popular in movies, particularly featured in the famous film, Brief Encounter. And also in this scene from Billy Wilder's 1955 movie, The Seven Year Itch, with Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe.
Clip from The Seven Year Itch
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, you know, that's a fantasy moment because no pianist who's playing the Rachmaninoff second piano concerto wants anybody sitting next to him on the bench.
John Schaefer: I notice that you referred to the film Brief Encounter as famous. But didn't apply that adjective to Seven Year Itch.
Jeff Spurgeon:Well, I don't think that. I think that the whole arc of Brief Encounter is more famous. Seven Year Itch is famous for Marilyn Monroe’s skirt being lifted up by the subway, but that's about all it's famous for.
John Schaefer: So perhaps infamous rather than, okay.
Jeff Spurgeon: I think that's, I think that's appropriate. So we're just a minute or two away from the start of this.
John Schaefer: And that applause is for the members of the Vienna, Philharmonic Orchestra as they make their way on stage at Carnegie Hall — looks to be a pretty packed house, as you would expect for program featuring one of the world's platinum orchestras playing two very popular works of the romantic repertoire in this case, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 2, with members of the orchestra fill[ing] on stage, they'll be joined momentarily by Seong-Jin Cho the Korean pianist who has stepped in on very short notice to perform this piece.
And then after him, the conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin also appearing on short notice to conduct this program tonight.
Jeff Spurgeon: All of the orchestra members remaining on their feet too, as they receive the applause of the Carnegie Hall audience, the stage doors are closed. The orchestra members take a seat and we still have a couple of things to happen. The arrival of a soloist and a conductor and you hear the orchestra beginning to tune as we get to prepare for a very exciting performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. With the Vienna Philharmonic in town. All the players carefully masked on stage. Of course the wind players will let theirs go. And it seems that most of the other members now on stage are maskless as well, but they certainly were wearing masks when they walked out.
John Schaefer: Mm-hmm…you mentioned we’re expecting an exciting performance, of course a piece like this is always exciting. It's a big work as Daniel Froschauer of the Vienna Phil said, a war horse. But when you have a pianist and a conductor who've been thrown together at literally the last minute with maybe an hour or less to try and work out their different interpretations of the piece, there is a certain tight rope walking effect going on tonight.
Jeff Spurgeon: So, absolutely. And yet you hear the ovation from the audience at Carnegie hall when Seong-Jin Cho and Yannick Nézet-Séguin appeared.
Those cheers are for them, and for this orchestra being here tonight and for this performance taking place. And so the Rachmaninoff of Piano Concerto No. 2 with Seong-Jin Cho the soloist Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic from Carnegie Hall Live.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18
Jeff Spurgeon: Pianist Seong-Jin Cho with an encore for the audience at Carnegie Hall from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. That was “October.” A piece with a melancholy mood that very much matches the music of Rachmaninoff that preceded it. Always with that, that little dark undertone,
John Schaefer: Very Russian.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yeah. Right, right.
And after a little conversation backstage, another bow for Seong-Jin Cho. Stepping in as a last minute replacement to be the soloist in this concert, by the Vienna Philharmonic. Playing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 for a very, very pleased, and by all accounts, capacity crowd here at Carnegie Hall
John Schaefer: And probably worth mentioning Tchaikovsky’s Seasons. It's not spring summer, fall winter it's the 12 months.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yes.
John Schaefer: Seasons is just an oddity of translation. That's the title that has come down to us. So “October” was the encore by Tchaikovsky that Seong-Jin Cho played. For the audience here at Carnegie Hall.
Jeff Spurgeon: And we are at intermission of this concert as perhaps you can tell members of the Vienna Philharmonic pouring off the stage members of the Carnegie Hall audience, doing a little of circulating themselves. And we are hoping perhaps we'll have a moment with our soloist, we'll see..
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And in fact, John, I know we're both really pleased to be able to say hello, to Seong-Jin Cho and to say thank you for an amazing performance. And we wanted to ask you a little bit about the saga of your last 24 hours or so in coming from the city of Berlin on very short notice to play tonight in Carnegie hall.
When did you get the call?
Seong-Jin Cho: Actually I was supposed to have dinner with my manager but she got COVID, so it was canceled. And I was staying at home and my American manager just called me, texted me. She said, can we talk at 7:00 PM? So, yeah, sure. And then she explained to me about, yeah, this big event.
And we were discussing the repertoire and she said I have to do the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2. And the last time I played this concerto was in 2019. So, okay. Because I really wanted to. Because it's a great opportunity and it's my honor to play with the Vienna Philharmonic and with Yannick.
And the problem is I'm not allowed to practice at my home after 10:00 PM. Because of the neighbors.
Jeff Spurgeon: Right.
Seong-Jin Cho: So I called my manager and she found a place. It was actually a hotel. So I just practiced until like 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM, at the lobby. And then I took the 7:00 AM flight and came here.
Jeff Spurgeon: A 7:00 AM flight today?
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah, from Berlin.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yeah. From Berlin to New York. So you were picked up at the airport at about, well, let's see. Yeah. Seven hours ago.
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah.
Jeff Spurgeon: 2:30 or so this afternoon,
Seong-Jin Cho: 2:30, yes.
Jeff Spurgeon: It's nine o'clock New York local time right now. So you got in the car at the airport, came here. What did you do? You took a nap for 15 minutes. You were given a couple of French fries, and then you had to rehearse.
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah, I just had one sandwich and then, so.
Jeff Spurgeon: Wow. I wasn't far off well, congratulations. This is a great thrill.
John Schaefer: I think we were both surprised to see you playing from memory. You know, during rehearsal, you had a score, but when it came to the actual performance, no score in front of you. So how quick, I mean, you said you haven't played this piece in three years of 2019.
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah.
John Schaefer: How quickly does a big piece like this come back?
Seong-Jin Cho: I think I was lucky to play it. I was a little bit worried actually, because I was not so confident before the concert, as I haven't played this piece since…three, two and a half years. And I was a little bit worried. I think, yeah. I was lucky.
Jeff Spurgeon: And have you played with the Vienna Philharmonic before?
Seong-Jin Cho: [It] was my debut with the orchestra, but I've played with Yannick several times.
Jeff Spurgeon: So he was your right hand guy in this?
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah, I felt so comfortable with him.
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, it's been a great opportunity. And congratulations. And aren't you coming back to the United States in about five days?
Seong-Jin Cho: Right, I have another concert in New York as well with the New York Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden.
John Schaefer: And a couple of recitals as well. Aren't you doing the, the Chopin Scherzo and–
Jeff Spurgeon: –and the Gaspard de la nuit. So it's a light, easy program anyone could play?
Seong-Jin Cho: Yeah, I was supposed to arrive here on the 1st of March, but I just came a little bit earlier.
Jeff Spurgeon: So are you staying or are you going back home?
Seong-Jin Cho: I'm staying here.
Jeff Spurgeon: Okay, good. I'm glad to hear that. Cause I was worried about you.
John Schaefer: We know you're a young guy, but still you gotta take care of yourself.
Seong-Jin Cho: Right.
John Schaefer: Get some sleep.
Seong-Jin Cho: Oh, that's right.
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, congratulations. You've given this audience a great gift by making yourself available for performance.
Seong-Jin Cho: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Jeff Spurgeon: Seong-Jin Cho with an amazing evening that he'll remember for the rest of his life. And I'm so glad that we are able to bring it to so many people on this broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live, his debut performance with the Vienna Philharmonic, playing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 on a program with two great Rachmaninoff second works.
John Schaefer: [The] piano concerto earlier the Second Symphony coming up. And as we were just talking about with Seong-Jin Cho, he will be back here in New York. He's actually touring around the states, selected recitals where he is doing, the Gaspard de la nuit by Ravel and the, the, the for scherzi by Chopin. He has recorded Chopin, the Sonata no. 3 in the WQXR studio. And we are going to hear a performance by Seong-Jin Cho of the final movement of that Chopin Sonata no. 3.
Chopin: Sonata no. 3
Jeff Spurgeon: An extra encore by Seong-Jin Cho on this broadcast from Carnegie Hall Live. You heard him play the Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 2 and “October” from The Seasons by Tchaikovsky as his on stage encore, but we have been able to share with you a recording he made of the final movement of Chopin's Piano Sonata no. 3 that he did for the WQXR studios in 2018.
So, we're happy to share that with you. Seong-Jin Cho, last minute replacement, and a very successful one in this concert from Carnegie Hall Live tonight that features the Vienna Philharmonic backstage at Carnegie Hall. I'm Jeff Spurgeon alongside John Schaefer. And you know, when we talk about amazing pianists Rachmaninoff was certainly one himself
John Schaefer: mm-hmm…
Jeff Spurgeon: who spoke of his enormous, just the hand spread alone, but he was, he was a great concert artist. And he also did a little bit of recording. Now he did a few sound recordings, but what he did earlier were piano roll recordings
John Schaefer: Right. As many of the pianists of the day did, Gershwin.
Jeff Spurgeon: Absolutely. Absolutely. And if the machinery is well maintained, the piano rolls can really record a remarkable amount of nuance in a player. But that idea was given a real boost by the computer age a few years ago, some people took one of Rachmaninoff's sound recordings and ran it into a computer which captured as much of the nuance as possible. And then of course they did a little editing to the software, but then they returned it to the concert stage with a full Steinway in modern recording equipment.
And the computer played what Rachmaninoff had. In a sound file many years earlier, and this is Rachmaninoff playing his own Daisies.
Jeff Spurgeon: Rachmaninoff's Daisies played by Rachmaninoff with a little assistance from a computer and a modern Steinway. What we learned from those recordings of Rachmaninoff that were reprocessed was that in spite of the music of his, that sort of invites pounding on the piano, he was not a pounder. He was a sensitive pianist.
John Schaefer: And a pianist who made many, many appearances on this stage at Carnegie Hall. Over 40 as a soloist. 40 more with orchestras, several as a conductor. I mean, he had a very long history with Carnegie Hall. Of course he was a Russian composer, but his last decades were spent here in the states in New York later in California. He's buried just north of here at Kensico Cemetery in Westchester
Jeff Spurgeon: [He] died as an American citizen.
John Schaefer: Yep.
Jeff Spurgeon: As well.
John Schaefer: And it just strikes me that we're hearing, you know, an Austrian orchestra with a South Korean pianist based in Germany and a French Canadian conductor playing the music of this Russian born composer, who, as you say, died an American citizen. It really is a great example of the sort of cosmopolitan world of classical music. And that point was made by Daniel Froschauer, who is the head of the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the violinists in the orchestra too, when we spoke to him earlier today about, well, all the musical camaraderie that has occurred to make this very concert possible,
Daniel Froschauer: We have worked with Yannick, he came to Salzburg. He's did an opera with us. We haven't had him in quite some years and we have been trying to have him, obviously, he's very busy now with the Metropolitan Opera [and] with the Philadelphia orchestra. I was really happy that he could come now and help us in this very difficult situation and especially keep the repertoire. Also, it's a true act of friendship. And I think it's also not just to the Vienna Philharmonic, but also to Carnegie Hall and to our public, you know, we have been looking forward to hearing this music.
John Schaefer: And we are looking forward to hearing the Rachmaninoff Second Symphony in a moment. The Vienna Philharmonic is legendary for being a very hard orchestra to get into. What’s not so well known is that they spend a lot of time working with younger musicians in their academy, including the occasional American, grooming them for open positions.
Daniel Froschauer: The whole idea of having an academy, you know, it’s that these people are very young. They're excellent. They have to win an audition to get in there. Then we have a program for two years that's geared towards winning an audition, but for many different sides, we have. Coming from the sports field, talking about the psychology of something like that. Politics, you know, we have Heinz Fischer, our old president of Austria will come and it's a nice interaction. You can really get something out of it. It's amazingly successful because I mean, Lucas Stratmann from New York, for example, who joined the academy in September, he won last week in an audition at the Vienna State Opera and consequently will become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic.
Jeff Spurgeon: That's Daniel Froschauer talking about the path that musicians have to take to become a part of this world renowned orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic. Many of the members are standing right near John and I backstage at Carnegie Hall. As we get near the end of intermission, ready for the second half of this all Rachmaninoff program. Second half is just one work. The symphony number two, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 2. helped him so much after the disastrous premiere of the first symphony
John Schaefer: mm-hmm
Jeff Spurgeon: Rachmaninoff, he had a breakdown is what he had. [He] had to get enormous help just to begin to compose again. But the Piano Concerto No. 2 was a success. And that was an encouragement to him.
John Schaefer: Really the catapult to the piece we're about to hear because he felt enough confidence to take on the symphonic form again. And oh boy, he really hit it out of the park with the Symphony No. 2, which is another work that has become sort of iconic in the sort of late romantic repertoire and a work that basically required him to clear the decks, because at this point in his life, Rachmaninoff was a pretty busy guy, right. He had a job conducting the Imperial Grand Opera in Moscow. He was a piano soloist. He moved to Dresden of all places thinking that that would be a peaceful place for him to compose.
Jeff Spurgeon: Well, it worked out to be that way for him. He did enjoy his time there and produced this second symphony, which shows him in another light entirely. And he enjoys all the expansive possibilities of the orchestra. You still hear his romantic melodies, those great rich melodies and that undertone of melancholy, that little atmosphere of darkness that is such an important part of, as you said earlier, John, the Russian idea of classical music, but it's also very much a part of Rachmaninoff too, of his musical personality.
John Schaefer: It's also in this piece, I mean, you hear it in the Piano Concerto No. 2 as well. But, this is a composer who clearly studied the book Principles of Orchestration by Rimsky-Korsakov, right. And just absorbed all of that because the tone colors here, they're bright. They're splashed across the canvas. You use the word expansive. I mean, this is a big piece. It's almost an hour long. I know during his lifetime, other people found it maybe a little too long and there were abridged versions. He seemed to be okay with that. [in] his own performances went for every note.
Jeff Spurgeon: We're going to hear every note tonight. We might not hear every repeat, but we will hear every note in the performance tonight we heard during the rehearsal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin mentioning that there was a certain repeat that he's not taking. But you'll get all the symphony tonight. That applause was for the Vienna Philharmonic on stage acknowledging the audience's applause.
They don't sit down when they walk out, they wait. But now standing up is the concertmaster in this performance, Volkhard Steude, tuning the orchestra and our maestro is backstage as well. And so we are about to take another great musical adventure with the great romantic of the 20th century Sergei Rachmaninoff.
John Schaefer: The Symphony No. 2, to give it its full title. Symphony No. 2 in E minor will be played now by the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, nearby about to take off the mask and head off to center stage to lead us on this musical journey through the next hour in the, in the music, the colorful music of Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Jeff Spurgeon: And the stage door opens and out walks this conductor who is one of New York's busiest musical personalities and in demand in all places around the world, we heard the orchestra leaders saying they were hoping to play with Yannick Nézet-Séguin but he just hadn't didn't have time. Well, it turns out the orchestra came to him inNew York for this unique opportunity.
And the Vienna Philharmonic now brings you Rachmaninoff's Symphony no. 2 from Carnegie Hall Live.
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor
John Schaefer: From Carnegie hall, the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Members of the orchestra standing, not just to accept the applause of a full house here at Carnegie Hall, but to acknowledge the work of Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting on very short notice, this concert of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, and Second Symphony at Carnegie Hall.
And Jeff, it's a piece that sort of telegraphs its ending and the audience were right there. They were, they were ready for that ending.
Jeff Spurgeon: Rachmaninoff knew how to write a finish. He wrote it, he wrote it several times using some of those same techniques and it's very exciting. Every single time.
John Schaefer: Brilliantly colored work. Everybody in the orchestra gets a chance to shine. And they did the members of the Vienna Philharmonic playing some of those instruments that are almost like early music instruments.
Jeff Spurgeon: So specific they are to the orchestra that employs them different. Different winds, some different brass instruments. It’s part of what gives the Vienna Philharmonic its particular personality. And it's a very, very special sound.
So another curtain called now for Yannick again, who came back just for a moment. And those chairs are for him and for this orchestra. And he is visibly grateful and appreciative of the people on both sides of him, the audience behind him, the orchestra in front of him.
John Schaefer: To recap if you weren't with us at the beginning of the broadcast, the Vienna Philharmonic came here expecting to work with the the Russian conductor, Valery Gergiev and to perform with the Russian pianist, Denis Matsuev and events in other parts of the world made that impossible. And at the last minute, as we heard earlier, the Korean pianist, Seong-Jin Cho stepped in and also at the last minute Yannick Nézet-Séguin took over the conducting duties for this concert.
Jeff Spurgeon: And for the other two that the Vienna Philharmonic are performing in New York this weekend.
John Schaefer: So it's, but at least there he'll have an opportunity to do a bit of rehearsing with the orchestra. I mean, it was a hurried. We were here for rehearsal. Yeah. And it was,
Jeff Spurgeon: And it was hasty, but as everyone understood, this was all music that Yannick knows. He did not accept this assignment, thinking that it would be an exciting time to learn some new pieces with an orchestra . So it was in a way, a very fortunate coincidence dcthat Yannick was available and that the repertoire that the Vienna Philharmonic is bringing to New York was quite familiar to.
John Schaefer: Your use of the word available. You are stretching the definition of available here because
Jeff Spurgeon: What do you mean? What do you mean? He was – he's here. He conducted, he was available
John Schaefer: Earlier just a few hours ago. He was in the midst of a five hour rehearsal at the Metropolitan Opera. So yeah, available there, there was like a. Two or three hour window of opportunity and the Vienna Philharmonic filled it
Jeff Spurgeon: well, they had wanted, they had been wanting to work with him and haven't been able to make it in terms of scheduling, but as happens so often in classical music, when someone cannot be present, someone else steps in and often careers are made mm-hmm, it's certainly happened to many, many singers and many, many, instrumental soloists.
Looks like Yannick's going to address the audience
Yannick Nézet-Séguin: Really from the bottom of our heart. And if you want a beast, an encore, please come back tomorrow.
John Schaefer: Well, the Vienna Philharmonic has a history of performing Strauss waltzes at the end as an encore, but since Yannick didn't have a chance to prepare anything with the orchestra, that could not.
Jeff Spurgeon: And thus, we are bringing to this concert a close as well. So that concludes this all Rachmaninoff evening. Well, with a touch of Tchaikovsky in Seong-Jin Cho's encore but otherwise all Rachmaninoff evening of the Piano Concerto no. 2, and the second symphony as well. The Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Quite a special evening here at Carnegie Hall.
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John Schaefer: And our thanks to Clive Gillinson and the staff here at Carnegie Hall, WQXR's team includes engineers, Edward Haber, George Wellington, Noriko Okabe and Irene Trudel.
Jeff Spurgeon: Our production team is Eileen Delahunty, Lauren Purcell-Joiner, and Max Fine. I'm Jeff Spurgeon
John Schaefer: and I'm John Schaefer and this program is a co-production of Carnegie Hall and WQXR in New York.
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