Symphony Concert 19

Berlin Philharmonic | Sir Simon Rattle

Shostakovich

Thu, 31.08.19.30No. 17341

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert


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Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017

 

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    Sir Simon Rattle  conductor
    Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
    Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10
    Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141

    Dmitri Shostakovich often had to disguise and conceal what he really thought and what he wanted to express through his music. The danger of being arrested and sent to the gulag was real, because his works did not correspond to the ideals prescribed by official Soviet culture. But Shostakovich was also gifted at putting on masks. Already in his First Symphony, a stroke of genius by an 18-year-old composer, he blends frisky waltzes and folk song with heroic sounds, neoclassicism, and swooning late-Romantic language. And a half century later, in his final contribution to the genre, the Symphony No. 15, he draws on the principle of collage, referencing both the Overture to Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and the Annunciation of Death scene from Wagner’s Die Walküre. The beginning and end of his oeuvre are thus intertwined. Sir Simon Rattle and his Berlin Philharmonic will trace the arc of Shostakovich’s career in search of the true identity of this great symphonist.

    Berlin Philharmonic

    In 1882 a group of 54 ambitious musicians in Berlin formed an orchestra to perform concerts under their own aegis, thus giving birth to the Berlin Philharmonic. As their leader they chose Hans von Bülow, one of the finest conductors of the era, who laid the foundations for the Philharmonic’s culture of distinguished playing. His successors have included Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furt-wängler (1922–54), and Herbert von Karajan (1955–89), all of whom developed the signature Berlin sound. It was in the Karajan era that the Berlin Philharmonic attained worldwide fame through its tours and many prize-winning recordings. Since October 1963 the Philharmonic’s home has been the Philharmonie in Berlin, a 2,400-seat concert hall designed by Hans Scharoun. After Karajan’s death in 1989, the players elected Claudio Abbado as their leader. He expanded the repertoire to include contemporary works and introduced program cycles focusing on specific themes. Sir Simon Rattle stood at the helm from 2002 until the summer 2018, performing music from the Baroque to the present. Kirill Petrenko will become his successor in the summer of 2019 but is already conducting the Philharmonic in the current season. The orchestra, which celebrates its 60th anniversary at LUCERNE FESTIVAL this summer, has been forging new paths into the future through its award-winning education program as well as the Digital Concert Hall, which launched in 2009 and which streams many concerts on the Internet. Since 2014 the ensemble has been releasing CDs and DVDs on its in-house Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label. Once a year, the musicians also perform as an opera orchestra as part of their Easter Festival, which has been taking place in Baden-
    Baden since 2013. In 2018 the Berlin Philharmonic performed Wagner’s Parsifal there, and for 2019 they have programmed Verdi’s Otello.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) on 30 August 1958 playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Herbert von Karajan.

    For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de

    July 2018

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    Sir Simon Rattle

    Sir Simon Rattle has been serving as the new Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra since the start of the 2017-18 season. He inaugurated his tenure with a ten-day festival (“This Is Rattle”) and Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust as the main work; in the 2018-19 season he will devote himself to scores including Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Rattle, who was born in 1955 in Liverpool, studied piano, percussion, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began his close collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he led as Music Director from 1990 to 1998, building it into a top international ensemble. In 2002 he became Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he gradually expanded during his 16-year era by integrating contemporary music and also Baroque works and musical historical rarities. Many of these concerts were recorded live and have garnered awards. He bid farewell as head of the Philharmonic in June 2018 with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, with which he had made his debut with the Berliners in 1987. Since 1992 Sir Simon has also been closely associated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently its Principal Artist; he has additionally conducted the leading orchestras of Europe and the U.S. He made his debut as an opera conductor in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival. Additional engagements have taken him to the Opéra national de Paris, the Royal Opera, Dutch National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He recently performed Wagner’s Parsifal at the 2018 Baden-Baden Easter Festival. Simon Rattle was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994; he holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor. In 2013 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.

    July 2018

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    18:30 | Introduction to the Concert with Susanne Stähr | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
    (in German)

    Concert Sponsor