Recital 1

Igor Levit

Bach | Busoni | Schumann | Wagner et al.

Sat, 17.11. | 18.30 | No. 18501

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Piano Festival

17.11.-27.11. 2018



    Igor Levit  piano
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
    Chaconne from the Partita in D minor, BWV 1004
    Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924)
    Fantasia after Johann Sebastian Bach, BV 253
    Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
    Theme with Variations in E-flat major, WoO 24 Ghost Variations
    Richard Wagner (1813–1883) / Franz Liszt (1811–1886)
    Solemn March to the Holy Grail from “Parsifal,” S 450
    Franz Liszt (1811–1886) / Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924)
    Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, S 259

    Igor Levit opens the 2018 Piano Festival with a program of works whose subject is music itself. Brahms and Busoni transferred pieces by Bach to the modern piano. Liszt arranged a march from Wagner’s “stage-consecrating festival play” Parsifal for the keyboard, while one of his own works, Ad nos, ad salutarem undem (originally written for organ) was transcribed by his colleague Busoni. Meanwhile, in Geistervariationen (“Ghost Variations”), his final piano work just before he suffered a mental breakdown, Schumann treated a theme that he believed angels had sung to him: the composer in dialogue with the hereafter. This spiritual component is a shared thread in Levit’s program as well: Bach’s work also suggests something of a spiritual retreat or prayer, Wagner’s Parsifal touches on sacred mysteries, and Liszt’s Ad nos is based on a chorale from Meyerbeer’s opera Le prophète. In other words, these pieces hint at higher truths. And who better to articulate them on the piano than the 31-year-old Levit, an artist known for exploring existential musical experiences?

    Lucerne Train Station Closure
    The train station in Lucerne will be closed for construction work on 17 and 18 November 2018. You can find further details here.

    You can purchase the digital concert program here.

    Igor Levit

    The pianist Igor Levit was born in 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and began taking piano lessons at the age of three. His family moved to Germany in 1995, where Levit continued his studies with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, and Bernd Goetzke in Hanover before transferring to Hans Leygraf at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He won four prizes at the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv in 2005 and was also a victor at the Hamamatsu Competition in Japan. Levit soon began performing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. He made his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival in 2018 and with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 2019. During the 2019-20 season, Levit is the Featured Artist at the Barbican Centre in London, where he will also appear with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons; with the latter he will additionally tour Spain. Levit has just undertaken a European tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck. He will also perform Busoni’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Antonio Pappano. Among his major projects is the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which he is performing at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2019-20; the complete set was released in September. Igor Levit has also recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!. He received Gramophone’s awards for Recording of the Year and Best Instrumental Recording in 2016. Levit was named the recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award in 2018.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 11 September 2011 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski performing Scriabin’s Prométhée; most recent appearance on 23 November 2016 playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

    October 2019

    Other dates

    17.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium