Opening Concert

Hans Küng | Opening Speech: “Composers and Their Faith”

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Choirs | Claudio Abbado | Soloists
Wed, 8 August 2012 | 18.30 | KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Bavarian Radio Choir (Chorus Master: Peter Dijkstra) | Swedish Radio Choir (Chorus Master: Peter Dijkstra) | Claudio Abbado conductor | Juliane Banse soprano (Beethoven) | Bruno Ganz narrator | Anna Prohaska soprano (Mozart) | Sara Mingardo alto | Maximilian Schmitt tenor | René Pape bass

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy “Egmont” for soprano, narrator and orchestra, Op. 84

Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756-1791)
Requiem in D minor, K. 626 (edition by Franz Beyer/Robert Levin)

Change of program:
LUCERNE FESTIVAL hereby announces that on 8 August as well as on 10 and 11 August, Claudio Abbado will conduct Beethoven’s Incidental music to “Egmont” and Mozart’s Requiem. For artistic reasons, this program replaces the originally scheduled Eighth Symphony by Gustav Mahler.

For the opening of the 2012 Summer Festival, Claudio Abbado and the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA will present a work inspired by the strongest kind of faith: radical to the point of self-sacrifice, it expresses a political utopia and a religious vision. Goethe’s hero Egmont is prepared to sacrifice his life in order to liberate the Flemish people from subjugation by the Spanish. “I die for freedom, for whose cause I have lived and fought, and for which I now offer myself in sorrow as a sacrifice,” he exclaims as the executioners approach. He goes on to rally his comrades-in-arms: “And to save those you love most, be ready to fall joyfully and follow the example I give.” Egmont’s faith is in a future he himself will not live to see. He devotes himself to something that cannot be seen—and that links his own credo to the Christian worldview, to faith in a life after death. Mozart’s Requiem, a work shrouded in mystery that will be heard in the second part of the evening, not only signifies a memorial to the fallen hero but carries a message of eternal light and redemption—of the better life for which we hope, no matter what our faith.


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