Mariss Jansons © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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Choral Concert 2
Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra | Mariss Jansons | soloists
Stravinsky | Hummel | Beethoven
Sat, 24.03. | 18.30 | No. 18109
CHF 240 200 150 100 60 30
Mariss Jansons © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Choral Concert 2
Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra | Mariss Jansons | soloists
(Howard Arman chorus master)
“But my dear Beethoven, what is it that have you done again?” Nikolaus II von Esterházy was indignant. When Beethoven led the world premiere of his C major Mass on 13 September 1807 in Eisenstadt, the Prince posed this memorable question. And it became even clearer in a letter: “The Mass by Beethoven is ridiculous and abominable,” he wrote, infuriated. “I am angry and mortified.” Noblesse oblige – but clearly not concerned about understanding music. Beethoven himself knew better: the C major Mass was “dear to his heart” as a work of peace in an era given to war. Unlike in the later Missa solemnis, here he puts less focus on music’s overpowering force than on its gentle strength, which moves with immediacy, with elated, unpretentious, pure sounds. Mariss Jansons pairs this rarely played Mass with the E major Trumpet Concerto by Beethoven’s friend Johann Nepomuk Hummel. And with the Symphony in Three Movements by the great Beethoven admirer Igor Stravinsky.
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1949. As its first Chief Conductor, Eugen Jochum helped establish the Orchestra during his 11-year tenure and brought it international renown, especially through his Bruckner performances. Succeeding him was Rafael Kubelík (1961–79), who conducted the ensemble’s first Mahler cycle and expanded its repertoire to include works by Slavic composers as well as 20th-century music. Sir Colin Davis, an acclaimed Berlioz specialist, stood at the helm from 1983 to 1992 and proved to be an equally strong advocate for the Viennese Classical era and the works of British composers. Lorin Maazel held the reins from 1993 to 2002 and led complete cycles of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Schubert, and Mahler. Since October 2003 Mariss Jansons has held the position of Chief Conductor, playing a repertoire that ranges widely, from Haydn to Shostakovich and contemporary composers. Many renowned conductors have led the Orchestra, from Otto Klemperer and Karl Böhm through Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Leonard
Bernstein to such stars of today as Herbert Blomstedt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Franz Welser-Möst in the 2016-17 season. The Orchestra regularly premieres new works through its musica viva series. The BR Symphony performs on tour around the world: most recently, in late autumn 2016, they concertized in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, and, at the beginning of 2017, in Vienna, Paris, Wrocław, Katowice, Milan, Luxembourg, and Amsterdam. Since 2004 the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has had an annual residency at Lucerne’s Easter Festival.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 28 August 1965 with works by Bartók and Bruckner, conducted by Rafael Kubelík.
Februar 2017Other dates
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks © Astrid Ackermann
Bavarian Radio Choir
Founded seventy years ago, in 1946, the Bavarian Radio Choir has been performing the great choral symphonic literature and oratorios from the Baroque to the present since then, in particular with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The latter’s music directors have regularly been in charge of the Choir’s artistic leadership: from Eugen Jochum through Rafael Kubelík, Sir Colin Davis, and Lorin Maazel to Mariss Jansons. The ensemble is especially acclaimed for its flexibility and for the stylistic diversity of its repertoire. The singers are capable of shifting effortlessly from the austere sonority of a Renaissance madrigal to a Romantic choral work or to the technical challenges posed by contemporary music – all while preserving their signature sonic homogeneity. Through its own subscription series at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, the Choir performs not only the classic works of the canon but also crossover projects and jazz literature. Serving as Artistic Director from 2005 to the summer of 2016 was the Dutch conductor Peter Dijkstra, a self-described “anti-specialist” who ensured the diversity of the programming. In the 2016-17 season, Howard Arman will become his successor. Regular tours and invitations to the major music festivals are among the Choir’s activities; the singers have also worked with such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Staatskapelle Dresden. They additionally perform concerts with such period-instrument ensembles as Concerto Köln, B’Rock, and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. The Bavarian Radio Choir has won three Echo Klassik Awards and, in 2015, the Bavarian State Prize for Music.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 30 August 1965 with Janáčeks From the House of the Dead conducted by Rafael Kubelík.
August 2016Other dates
Mariss Jansons © Peter Meisel
Mariss Jansons was born in 1943 in Riga and is the son of conductor Ar-vīd Jansons. He studied violin, piano, and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, completing his training as a student of Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and of Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg. Jansons was a prize winner in the conducting competition of the Karajan Foundation in Berlin in 1971. In the same year, Evgeny Mravinsky made him his assistant at the Leningrad (now the St. Petersburg) Philharmonic. From 1979 to 2000 Jansons served as Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1997 to 2004 he was Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003 he has led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Beginning in 2004, for 11 years, he additionally led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which named him Honorary Conductor in 2015. Jansons has guest conducted the finest orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; he has led the latter’s New Year’s concerts in 2006, 2012, and 2016. Jansons’ discography comprises many prize-winning recordings, including his Grammy-winning account of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13. Mariss Jansons is an honorary member of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna and of the Royal Academy of Music in London; the Berlin Philharmonic has honored him with the Bülow Medal, the City of Vienna with the Golden Medal of Honor, the State of Austria with the Honorary Cross for Science and Art, and the Federal Republic of Germany with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit. In 2013 Jansons, who is also a member of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art and a knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the music world.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 April 1992 with the London Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Weber and Strauss as well as Mahler’s First Symphony.
February 2017Other dates
Martin Angerer © BR-SO.com
Julia Kleiter © Daniel Kleiter
Born in Limburg, soprano Julia Kleiter studied voice with William Workman in Hamburg and with Klesie Kelly-Moog in Cologne. She began her international career in 2004 as Pamina in a production of The Magic Flute by Robert Wilson at the Opéra-Bastille in Paris. Marc Minkowski then chose her for the same role in a series of performances he conducted of the work, while Claudio Abbado engaged her for productions in Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, Baden-Baden, and Edinburgh. Nikolaus Harnoncourt also numbers among this young singer’s mentors. In 2006 he conducted her in the role of Serpetta in Mozart’s La finta guardiniera in Zurich, and in 2008 in the role of Ilia (Idomeneo) at the Styriarte Festival in Graz. Julia Kleiter has meanwhile appeared at many renowned festivals and opera houses, including the Salzburg Festival, where she made her debut as Celia in Lucio Silla, at Dresden Opera as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Maggio Musicale in Florence. She recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York, once more as Pamina. In addition she performed her first Anna in Der Freischütz in a new production at Baden-Baden; in June 2010 she undertook Zdenka in Strauss’ Arabella at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Julia Kleiter regularly sings lieder recitals, often partnering with her uncle, tenor Christoph Prégardien, with whom she most recently recorded Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. As a concert singer she has collaborated, along with the above-named conductors, with Ivor Bolton, Daniel Harding, René Jacobs, Fabio Luisi, Riccardo Muti, Helmuth Rilling, and Jeffrey Tate.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on September 7, 2006 in lieder by Joseph Haydn, Hugo Wolf, and Richard Strauss, accompanied by Hilko Dumno at the keyboard.
Gerhild Romberger © Rosa Frank
The mezzo-soprano Gerhild Romberger, a native of Emsland, Germany, initially studied pedagogical music at the Music Academy in Detmold; she also concluded her vocal training there under Heiner Eckels by taking the concert examination. She completed additional courses in lieder with Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll. Since the beginning of her career, Romberger has concentrated entirely on concert singing. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque oratorios, cantatas, and Passions through Classical and Romantic works to the vocal music of the 20th century. In recent years Romberger has worked regularly with Manfred Honeck, who has engaged her to sing the mezzo and alto parts in the Mahler symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, and the Grosse Messe by Walter Braunfels. She has performed with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Herbert Blomstedt and Riccardo Chailly and has appeared with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals and in Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Thomas Hengelbrock. She has additionally concertized with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe and has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Engagements for the 2013-14 season included concerts with Mariss Jansons at the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, and the BBC Proms; she was also invited to perform in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Ninth with the Gewandhausorchester, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Czech Philharmonic. Gerhild Romberger has been a voice teacher in Detmold since 2003.
One previous LUCERNE FESTIVAL performance: on 8 September 2013 in Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony conducted by Mariss Jansons.
Christian Elsner © Anne Hoffmann
The tenor Christian Elsner, who comes from Freiburg im Breisgau, studied with Martin Gründler at the Music Academy in Frankfurt am Main, where he also graduated from the lieder class of Charles Spencer; an important influence has also been his instruction from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin. From the beginning the lieder and concert repertoire has been the focus of his artistic work, leading to engagements at Carnegie Hall in New York, La Scala in Milan, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Elsner has worked with such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Kent Nagano, and Simon Rattle. With his duo partner Burkhard Kehring he has given lieder recitals in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dresden, and Brussels, at the Ravinia Festival, and at the Schubertiade in Feldkirch. In addition to these activities Elsner has taken on numerous operatic engagements and has appeared in such roles as Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Dresden Staatsoper and as Parsifal at the Vienna Staatsoper. In June 2015 he will sing Florestan in a new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. In the current season Elsner has undertaken a European tour with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle, singing in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In addition he has performed Hans Zender’s arrangement of Schubert’s Winterreise with the Philharmonic and Rattle. In the coming summer Elsner will sing Bruckner’s F mi-nor Mass with the Vienna Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Salzburg Festival. Christian Elsner, who has taught voice at the Würzburg Academy of Music since 2006, is the author of several children’s books; most recently he has published Lennie und Der Ring des Nibelungen.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 31 August 2003 with Liszt’s Faust Symphony under the direction of Ingo Metzmacher.
The Austrian baritone Florian Boesch, who comes from a Viennese family of singers, had his first vocal training from his grandmother, Ruthilde Boesch, before beginning studies at the University for Music in Vienna, where he took Robert Holl's classes in lieder and the oratorio. He began his international career in 2003 as Papageno at Zurich Opera. Since that time, Boesch has been a regular guest on many international stages. In the 2016-17 season, he appeared as Zebul in Handel’s Jephtha at Dutch National Opera, was in the cast of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen at the Theater an der Wien, and sang Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; in the 2017-18 season, he will take on the title roles in Berg’s Wozzeck and Handel’s Saul at the Theater an der Wien. Florian Boesch enjoyed a longstanding close partnership with Nikolaus Harnoncourt: Together they performed works by Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, at the styriarte and Salzburg Festivals, for example, as well as with the Berlin Philharmonic. Florian Boesch has also concertized with Ivor Bolton, Gustavo Dudamel, Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Simon Rattle, and Robin Ticciati. During the past season, he was artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, where he performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bach’s St. John Passion, lieder cycles by Schubert and Krenek, and a program with the Ensemble Franui. Lieder singing is an important component of his work: credits included recitals at the Schubertiade, the styriarte, the Edinburgh Festival, Wigmore Hall in London, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Musikverein in Vienna; his recording of ballades by Loewe won the Edison Award in 2012.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 12 September 2006 as Poeta in Salieri’s Prima la musica, poi le parole under the direction of David Stern.
Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German) | 17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium