24 March - 1 April 2012
The Triumph of Music over Transience
It’s hard to imagine a brighter flourish to start off the new festival year: The radiant C major of Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony and Schumann’s Second Symphony will launch LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter. Both works are featured on a program that also involves a premiere, since this marks the first time that Claudio Abbado will conduct his wonderful Orchestra Mozart from Bologna in Lucerne. And Mozart will be heard not only in his guise as a symphony composer but also as the creator of the moving Requiem, which the King’s Consort from Britain 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 profound Concerto in D minor (K. 466) as part of the finale program.
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 radiant Magnificat, while the Hilliard Ensemble will escort us into a musical paradise with a performance of Renaissance vocal polyphony.
Appearing as a conductor, András Schiff leads the Cappella Andrea Barca in Bach’s B minor Mass, the Everest of sacred choral music. A completely different setting of the Mass will be presented by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as part of their Easter residency: Janácek’s “Glagolitic Mass,” which sets Old Church Slavonic texts instead of Latin. And when it comes to Bruckner, whose Fourth Symphony Bernard Haitink will conduct, the division between secular and sacred is never straightforward.