Choral Concert 4

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir | Mariss Jansons | soloists

Beethoven | Mendelssohn | Rachmaninoff

Sat, 16107

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

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Easter Festival

12.03.-20.03. 2016




    Choral Concert 4

    Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir | Mariss Jansons | soloists

    (Peter Dijkstra chorus master)
    Mariss Jansons  conductor
    Alexey Markov  baritone
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
    version using the instrumental retouching by Gustav Mahler
    Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64
    Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
    The Bells. Symphonic poem after Edgar Allan Poe, Op. 35
    “The sound of church bells dominated all the cities of Russia,” recalled Sergei Rachmaninoff when he was living in exile from his homeland. “They accompanied every Russian from childhood to the grave, and no composer could escape their influence. All my life I have taken pleasure in the differing moods and music of gladly chiming and mournfully tolling bells.” In his choral symphony The Bells from 1913 he created a memorial to these sounds: cheerfully chiming sleigh bells, wedding bells, fire alarm bells, and the grim death knell are all part of his impressive scenery, while Rachmaninoff also refers back to traditional Orthodox church music. The Bavarian Radio ensembles under Mariss Jansons will present this masterwork on the first evening of their Lucerne residency. As a prelude, Julian Rachlin will meanwhile indulge us with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, lofting us to the highest spheres.

    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 as well as the works of British composers. Lorin Maazel held the reins from 1993 to 2002, leading 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 leading figures of today as Herbert Blomstedt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Franz Welser-Möst, who are conducting the ensemble in the 2017-18 season. Each season, the BR Symphony premieres new works through its “musica viva” series and also performs on tour around the world. The musicians regularly travel to Asia and throughout the U.S. In 2017 they undertook two European tours, and in May 2018 they will perform in Riga, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has had an annual residency at Lucerne’s Easter Festival since 2004.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 28 August 1965 in a program of works by Bartók and Bruckner under Rafael Kubelík.

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    Bavarian Radio Choir

    Founded in 1946, the Bavarian Radio Choir has been performing the great choral symphonic literature and oratorios from the Baroque to the present since then, especially 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. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the British Howard Arman (born in 1954) has held the position of Artistic Director. Previously, from 1998 to 2013, Arman led the MDR Radio Choir in Leipzig and he served as Music Director of the Luzerner Theater from 2011 to 2016. 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 Echo Klassik Awards repeatedly; it received the Bavarian State Prize for Music in 2015.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 30 August 1965 in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead under the direction of Rafael Kubelík.

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    Mariss Jansons

    Mariss Jansons was born in 1943 in Riga as the son of the conductor Arvīds 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. He was a winner the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1971, and in the same year Evgeny Mravinsky appointed Jansons to be his assistant at the Leningrad 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 guest conducts the finest orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; he has conducted the latter’s New Year’s concerts three times (in 2006, 2012, and 2016). His discography comprises many prize-winning recordings, including a Grammy-winning account of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13. Mariss Jansons is an honorary member of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Berlin Philharmonic, which has also bestowed him with the Bülow Medal. He received the Golden Medal of Honor from the  City of Vienna, the Honorary Cross for Science and Art from the State of Austria, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. Jansons, who is also a member of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art, a knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2013, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal in 2017, and the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2018.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 April 1992 with the London Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Weber, Strauss, and Mahler.

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    Julian Rachlin

    Born in 1974 in Vilnius, Lithuania, Julian Rachlin emigrated with his familiy to Vienna at the age of four. He began studying violin with Boris Kushnir at the Conservatory there in 1983; he additionally took instruction from Pinchas Zukerman. In 1988 he was named Young Musician of the Year in the Eurovision Competition in Amsterdam, which immediately led to concert engagements at the Berlin Festival under Lorin Maazel and with the Vienna Philharmonic under Riccardo Muti. Since then he has worked with many of the leading orchestras of Europe and the United States. So far in the 2015-16 season he has performed with the Filarmonica della Scala under Riccardo Chailly and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseyev; in January he toured to the United States with the Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti. In recent seasons he has also concertized with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. On the recommendation of Mariss Jansons, Rachlin has taken up a second career as conductor and has led the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Czech Philharmonic. Since the fall of 2015 he has held the position of First Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Julian Rachlin is also committed to contemporary music: in 2012 he premiered Penderecki’s Concerto doppio, which is dedicated to him, with Janine Jansen and the BR Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons. For 12 years he led the Julian
    Rachlin & Friends Festival in Du-
    brovnik, Croatia; since 1999 he has been a professor of violin at the Vienna Conservatory. Julian Rachlin, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, plays the “ex Liebig” Stradivari from 1704.

    Debut bei LUCERNE FESTIVAL am 27. August 1994 mit Prokofjews Erstem Violinkonzert und dem Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra unter Lorin Maazel.

    February 2016

    Tatjana Pawlowskaja

    The soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya, a native of Murmansk, received her musical training in piano, choral conducting, and voice. After graduating from the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg she was immediately engaged as a member of the storied Mariinsky Theater ensemble, where she made her debut in 1995 as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Since then she has appeared on this stage in the central roles of her repertoire, from Mozart’s Fiordiligi and the Countess in Figaro through Verdi’s Desdemona and Alice Ford and Puccini’s Mimì and Liù to Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin, Janáček’s Jenůfa, and the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. She is especially known as an interpreter of Russian operas: whether Lisa in Pique Dame, Maria in Mazeppa, Gorislava in Ruslan and Lyudmila, Paulina in The Gambler, or Sofia in Semyon Kotko. In 1998 Pavlovskaya made her debut at La Scala in Milan as part of a Mariinsky Theater guest performance of Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Other credits include at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, Los Angeles and San Francisco Operas, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and the Teatro Real in Madrid. She recently sang the Foreign Princess in Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Glyndebourne Festival, Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Barcelona, and the solo soprano part in Britten’s War Requiem in performances at the Zurich Tonhalle and with the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de Lyon. Tatiana Pavlovskaya has worked with such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Jurowski, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Yuri Temirkanov.

    Februar 2016

    Maxim Aksenov

    Alexey Markov

    The baritone Alexey Markov, who was born in 1977 in Vyborg on the Karelian Isthmus in Russia, initially studied guitar and trumpet before deciding to take up a vocal career at the age of 22, for which he took private instruction. Two years later he was accepted by the Academy of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, soon going on to victories in many vocal competitions. In 2005 he won Elena Obraztsova’s Young Opera Singers’ Competition and, in 2007, the Moniuszko Vocal Competition in Warsaw. Since 2008 Markov has been a member of the Mariinsky Theater ensemble, where he has been seen onstage in such roles as Don Carlo in Verdi’s La forza del destino, Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal, and Chorèbe in Berlioz’s Les Troyens. Markov made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York in Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 2007 and has been a regular guest there ever since, singing Tomsky in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Count Luna in Verdi’s Il trovatore, and Valentin in Gounod’s Faust. Markov has appeared at Zurich Opera as Renato in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and has interpreted Donizetti roles including Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and Nottingham in Roberto Devereux. In 2011 Markov made his Salzburg Festival debut as Robert in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta; in 2014 came his debuts at the Edinburgh Festival and San Francisco Opera. He has also appeared several times at the Munich and Dresden Staatsoper companies. In addition to his operatic career, Markov is also a devoted lieder singer. On CD/DVD he has recorded Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (alongside Anna Netrebko) and Mah-ler’s Eighth Symphony with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra.

    February 2016

    17.30 | Introduction by Susanne Stähr | KKL Luzern, Auditorium

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