The Easter Festival in Lucerne:A Preview

SwitzerlandSwitzerland  The Easter Festival in Lucerne: A Preview 26.11.2011 (JR)

This year’s theme at the Lucerne Easter (and Summer) Festival is “Faith”. which has made it easy for the planners to find numerous suitable works to fit the theme.

It’s hard to imagine a brighter start to the festival on March 24th: The radiant C major of Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony and Schumann’s 2nd Symphony will launch the festival. This will be the first time that Claudio Abbado conducts his Orchestra Mozart from Bologna in Lucerne. On March 27th, Mozart will be heard not only in his guise as a symphony composer but also as the creator of the Requiem, which Britain’s King’s Consort will pair with a lesser-known Requiem by Michael Haydn. Mozart will have the last word as well when Maria João Pires, the Portuguese Grande Dame of the keyboard, performs his Concerto in D minor (K. 466) as part of the final programme on April 1st. Meanwhile there will be opportunity for many musical discoveries. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Concentus Musicus Wien, and a host of first-class soloists will focus on the sacred music that Handel wrote during his years in Rome, which they will contrast with Bach’s Magnificat (March 25th), while the Hilliard Ensemble will perform Renaissance vocal polyphony on March 26th. Appearing as a conductor, András Schiff leads the Cappella Andrea Barca in Bach’s B minor Mass on March 29th. The choir is the excellent Balthasar-Neumann-Choir from Germany. A completely different setting of the Mass will be presented on March 31st by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as part of their Easter residency: Janácek’s thrilling “Glagolitic Mass,” which sets Old Church Slavonic texts instead of Latin. The day before (March 30th) Jansons conducts Brahms’ 4th Symphony. And finally Bruckner, whose 4th Symphony Bernard Haitink will conduct on April 1st with the Bavarians, where the division between secular and sacred is never straightforward.

Details can be found under


John Rhodes