Symphony Concert 1

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Riccardo Chailly | Denis Matsuev

Rachmaninoff | Tchaikovsky

Sat, 17.08.18.30No. 19305

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019

 

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    Symphony Concert 1

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Riccardo Chailly | Denis Matsuev

    Riccardo Chailly  conductor
    Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
    Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

    When it comes to the piano music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Denis Matsuev is the go-to artist. The composer’s grandson, Alexander Rachmaninoff, was of the same opinion when he invited the Russian pianist to record the master’s works on the same grand piano used by Rachmaninoff himself: an unusually long, large Steinway, which is still housed in Rachmaninoff’s former home on Lake Lucerne (known as “Villa Senar”). With the Third Piano Concerto, Matsuev has taken up the weightiest challenge in the  Rachmaninoff  repertoire. In no other work of this genre is the performer required to play more notes per second than in this notorious “concerto for elephants,” to borrow the composer’s own phrase. Following intermission, the focus turns to the power of fate in Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. The composer believed that fate alone was responsible for the direction of our lives. His personal fate was same-sex attraction, which was criminalized in Tsarist Russia, causing him to fear for his middle-class existence. In the Fourth, the idea of fate is represented by a martial, blaring brass fanfare, which opens the work and comes back several times in the course of the work.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA

    The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, which was founded by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado and by the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. In this way they established a link with the legendary “elite orchestra” for which Arturo Toscanini assembled acclaimed virtuosos of his time to create a magnificent ensemble, introducing it in a “Concert de Gala” in 1938, the year of the Festival’s founding. Abbado served as Music Director of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA up until his death in January 2014. Riccardo Chailly, who was appointed as his successor, inaugurated his tenure as the new Music Director in the summer of 2016 with two performances of Mah-ler’s Eighth Symphony, thus concluding the Mahler cycle that Abbado had been unable to finish. The orchestra comprises internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, and music teachers, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala. For the 2018 Summer Festival, Chailly will prepare three different programs with them in which the focus is on Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and Anton Bruckner. Many of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s performances over the last decade have been broadcast on television and then released on DVD or CD; these have garnered such awards as the Diapason d’or, the BBC Music Magazine Award, and the International Classical Music Award. Their most-recent production, which appeared in June 2018, is a DVD of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has previously toured to many of the musical metropolises in Europe, as well as to New York, Tokyo, and Beijing. In the fall of 2018 they plan a tour to La Scala in Milan and a residency in Shanghai, China.

    The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has played annually at LUCERNE FESTIVAL ever since its first performances in the summer of 2003.

    July 2018

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    Riccardo Chailly

    Riccardo Chailly, who was born in 1953 in Milan, studied at the Conservatories of Perugia, Rome, and Milan and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado at La Scala in Milan. Chailly was appointed Music Director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1980, and in 1988 he moved to the same position with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which he helmed for sixteen years. From 2005 to the summer of 2016, Riccardo Chailly served as head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has been Music Director of La Scala in Milan since January 2015 and, since 2016, of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA. Chailly regularly conducts such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the United States, he has worked with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor – in addition to his performances at La Scala – he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, Zurich Opera, the Bavarian and Vienna Staatsoper companies, Chicago Lyric Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Riccardo Chailly has received many prizes for his more than 150 CDs, including two Echo Klassik Awards (in 2012 and 2015); Gramophone magazine named his account of the Brahms symphonies Record of the Year in 2014. Riccardo Chailly is a Grand’Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and a Knight
    in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 1996 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in France he has been an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres since 2011.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 7 September 1988 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in a program of works by Wagner, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky

    February 2019

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    Denis Matsuev

    The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev was born in 1975 into a musical family in Irkutsk, Siberia. He initially trained with his father, until, at the age of 15, Denis continued his piano studies in Moscow with Alexei Nasedkin and Sergei Dorensky. After winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Matsuev was invited to perform all over the world. Since then he has been a guest artist at the Ravinia Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival. He performs regularly with major orchestras and conductors: in the 2018-19 season, for example, with the New York and Munich Philharmonics and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, the Berlin Philharmonic and Christian Thielemann, the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, the Vienna Philharmonic and Mariss Jansons, and the London and Chicago Symphony Orchestras under Gianandrea Noseda. Matsuev is especially acclaimed for his Rachmaninoff performances. At the invitation of the Rachmaninoff Foundation, he has played works by the composer on Rachmaninoff’s own concert grand in the Villa Senar near Lucerne. He serves as Artistic Director of the Annecy Classic Festival in France, the Stars on Baikal, the Crescendo series, and Astana Piano Passion; for 11 years he has presented the concert series “Denis Matsuev Invites” in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Since 2008 he has additionally been Chairman of the New Names Foundation, which supports the emerging musical generation in Russia; more than 10,000 children have benefited since then from this initiative. Matsuev has been awarded the Shostakovich Prize and the Russian State Prize for Literature and Arts; he is a “People’s Artist of Russia” and an Honorary Professor of the Moscow Conservatory.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 12 September 2013, performing Rachmaninoff’s
    Third Piano Concerto with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov.

    February 2019

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    17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
    Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)

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