Saturday, September 29, 2012
Walt Disney Concert Hall (photo by Carol M. Highsmith, via Wikimedia Commons)
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel perform Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, along with music by Maurice Ravel and Steven Stucky, live from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne (image by Luzern Tourismus, courtesy of the Lucerne Festival
Friday, September 7, 2012
The Lucerne Festival brings world-class orchestras and soloists to a spectacular concert hall in a gorgeous city in Switzerland every summer.
Classical New England and WQXR bring you four concerts from the 2012 festival, each Sunday in September at 3pm on Sunday Concert.
During the recently concluded U.S. political conventions, there was one point of common ground between the major parties: the economy is struggling, with no quick remedies available. But as dire as the situation is now, consider Europe in 1938. Not only was the entire world economy in even worse condition than today's, the rise of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party sent a chill throughout every aspect of life on the continent.
Tribschen, Wagner's home for seven years and the site of the first performance at the Lucerne Festival
> Read more about Tribschen
(image via Wikimedia Commons)
Among those who felt the chill most acutely were musicians like Bruno Walter and Arturo Toscanini, who, refusing to perform at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany and the Salzburg Festival in Austria, came to the charming city of Lucerne in neutral Switzerland. It had been the home of Richard Wagner for seven years, and it was at his lakeside villa, Tribschen
, on Aug. 25, 1938, that Toscanini lifted his baton for the first notes of the inaugural Lucerne Festival.
Since then, the Lucerne Festival has evolved to hold a place among the most fascinating destinations for both musicians and audiences during the summer. In 1998, Jean Nouvel's new KKL Concert Hall transformed the festival and the city. The KKL is a striking modernist addition to the Old World architecture of the rest of Lucerne, and its acoustics are as perfect as can be found anywhere.
Those acoustics, along with the surrounding beauty of Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps, as well as the enthusiasm of the audiences who flock to this quiet town each summer, inspire musicians to reach the pinnacle of their interpretive and technical abilities. The results are stunning.
Classical New England is proud to bring you WQXR's production of four concerts from the 2012 Lucerne Festival. The complete schedule is below, and check back to hear each program on-demand after its broadcast.
September 9, 3pm
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Harding, conductor
Mari Eriksmoen, soprano
Bernarda Fink, alto
Andrew Staples, tenor
Franz-Josef Selig, bass
Bavarian Radio Choir
Swedish Radio Choir
SCHUBERT Gesang der Geister über den Wassern
(Song of the Spirits over the Waters), D 714 (with the Bavarian Radio Choir)
(“Night Song”), Op. 108
SCHUBERT Mass in E-flat major, D 950 (with the Swedish Radio Choir)
Hear the concert:
September 16, 3pm
Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra
Daniele Gatti, conductor
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
WAGNER Prelude to Act 3 and “Good Friday Spell” from Parsifal
BERG Violin Concerto (“To the Memory of an Angel”)
STRAUSS Suite from the opera Der Rosenkavalier
RAVEL La Valse
(on-demand audio is not available for this program)
September 23, 3pm
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Bavarian Radio Choir
Swedish Radio Choir
Claudio Abbado, conductor
Juliane Banse, soprano (Beethoven)
Bruno Ganz, narrator
Anna Prohaska, soprano (Mozart)
Sara Mingardo, alto
Maximilian Schmitt, tenor
Rene Pape, bass
BEETHOVEN: Incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy Egmont for soprano, narrator and orchestra, Op. 84
in D minor, K. 626 (edition by Franz Beyer/Robert Levin)
Hear the concert:
September 30, 3pm
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
David Robertson, conductor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
IVES: The Unanswered Question
BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D, op. 61
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 1 in E minor, op. 39
Hear the concert
For more from the Lucerne Festival, visit WQXR.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
As the world turns to London for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, join Classical New England for a live broadcast of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with its "Ode to Joy," from Royal Albert Hall in London.
1pm, Friday, July 27, live on Classical New England
Anna Samuil soprano
Waltraud Meier mezzo-soprano
Peter Seiffert tenor
René Pape bass
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
West–Eastern Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
In 1892, the founder of the modern-day Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, said, "Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally."
68 years earlier, Ludwig van Beethoven's setting of Friedrich Schiller's An die Freude in the Symphony No. 9, the "Choral" symphony, had established a similar world-view with the words
Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided;
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.
The spiritual and philosophical link between Beethoven's musical expression of faith in mankind and the Olympic movement's fostering of international peace through athletics is expressed on Friday at 1pm in a live concert broadcast from the BBC Proms with host Fred Child.
The expression comes through not only in the music itself, but also in the very existence of the orchestra performing it. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said to bring together equal numbers of young Israeli and Palestinian musicians. In the spirit of both the Olympics and Beethoven's Ninth,
The only political aspect prevailing the West-Eastern Divan’s work is the conviction that there will never be a military solution to the Middle East conflict, and that the destinies of the Israelis and Palestinians are inextricably linked. Through its work and existence the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra demonstrates that bridges can be built to encourage people to listen to one another.
Learn more about the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Join us for this special broadcast on Friday at 1pm!
(photo of Olympic medals courtesy of London 2012)
Thursday, July 19, 2012