Daniel Harding © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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Daniel Harding © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Daniel Harding © Julian Hargreaves
Symphony Concert 17
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam | Daniel Harding | soloists
“O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe”: Hardly any other work manifests the power of music as strongly as Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, whose second act includes these words (“Descend, o night of love”) in its love duet between the two protagonists, weaving an almost narcotic spell with its ecstatic waves of sound. This is music whose effect on the subconscious is immediate, drawing the listener in with intoxicating power. Resistance is futile. And it was inspired by an unful- filled relationship. When a rapturous letter from the composer to the charming Mathilde Wesendonck, wife of his Zurich patron, was intercepted by Wagner’s jealous wife Minna, it brought an abrupt end to the affair before they could give in to their passion. But Wagner fulfilled his dream of love in music. And he had an inkling about what it was he had succeeded in creating: “I fear the opera will be forbidden,” he wrote to Mathilde. “Only mediocre performances can save me! Completely good ones will drive people to insanity.” So be prepared for everything when Daniel Harding lifts up his baton …
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam/© Anne Dokter
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (RCO) was founded in 1888 as the Concertgebouw Orkest to mark the dedication of Amsterdam’s concert hall; since its 100th birthday in 1988, its name has included the adjective “royal.” In the first five decades of its history, the RCO was decisively shaped by Willem Mengelberg, who established its great Mahler tradition. “Truly splendid, full of youthful freshness and enthusiasm,” was Richard Strauss’s assessment of the ensemble in 1897. Dozens of composers have ascended the RCO’s podium ever since: from Mahler, Debussy, Bartók, and Stravinsky through Berio, Nono, and Henze to – in recent years – George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Tan Dun, Thomas Adès, and Michel van der Aa. Internationally renowned conductors have also regularly performed in Amsterdam, from Pierre Monteux, Bruno Walter, and Otto Klemperer through Sir Georg Solti, George Szell, and Eugen Jochum to the podium stars of our own time. Eduard van Beinum was the first to helm the RCO as Music Director following the Second World War; his successors have included Bernard Haitink (1961–1988), Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004), Mariss Jansons (2004–2015), and Daniele Gatti (2016–2018). The RCO tours regularly and will give a series of concerts in the United States in February 2019. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra today comprises 120 members from 25 nations. By the end of 2018, as part of the “RCO Meets Europe” project, it will have traveled to all 28 countries of the European Union in order to reaffirm the idea of international understanding and the unity of the Continent. Some 1,100 recordings on LP, CD, and DVD, which since 2004 have been released on the Orchestra’s in-house “RCO live” label, document the RCO’s artistic achievements. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is generously supported by ING Group and Unilever.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3 September 1972 in a program of music by Stravinsky and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony under Bernard Haitink.
Further information: www.concertgebouw.nl
August 2018Other dates
Daniel Harding © Julian Hargreaves
Daniel Harding, who was born in 1975 in Oxford, began his career as an assistant to Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. He made his debuts leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and, in 1996, the Berlin Philharmonic, with whom he enjoys a regular association today. His first leadership positions were with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the German Chamber Philharmonic in Bremen, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which has since named him Honorary Conductor for Life. In 2007 he began his tenure as head of the Swedish Radio Symphony, and since 2016 he has also helmed the Orchestre de Paris; he was additionally Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Harding works with many other celebrated orchestras, from the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus through the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to the major American ensembles. As an opera conductor, Harding has enjoyed a close relationship with the Aix-en-Provence Festival since 1998, where he led Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 2017. Among his credits at the Salzburg Festival credits are Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro, and at La Scala in Milan he has conducted Mozart’s Idomeneo, the verismo double bill I Pagliacci/Cavalleria rusticana, and Verdi’s Falstaff. He has also been engaged for various productions by the Vienna, Bavarian, and Berlin Staatsoper companies and the Royal Opera House in London. Harding won the Premio Abbiati, awarded by Italian critics, in 2011. His recordings have garnered the Choc de l’Année, the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, the Gramophone Award, and a Grammy Award. He has been a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres since 2002 and a member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy since 2012.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 16 August 2003 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in works by Haydn, Kelterborn, and Schumann.
Stuart Skelton © Sim Canetty-Clarke
Christine Goerke © Arielle Doneson
The American soprano Christine Goerke was born in New York State. She graduated in music from the State University of New York at Fredonia, initially concentrating on the clarinet before she switched to voice in 1989; she completed her training in 1994. Goerke began her career as a member of the Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, to which she belonged from 1994 to 1997. Her first major role at the Met was Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Goerke soon moved on to the dramatic soprano repertoire and has since then become especially successful as a performer of the heroines of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. Credits have been with San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Houston Grand Opera; in Europe she has performed at the Royal Opera House in London, the Opéra National de Paris, La Scala in Milan, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Teatro Real in Madrid. Highlights of recent years have included appearances as the Dyer’s Wife in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten and Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, as Strauss’s Elektra in London, and as Brünnhilde in The Ring at Houston Grand Opera. Her engagements in the 2016-17 season include Cassandre in Berlioz’s Les Troyens at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Goerke sings a widely ranging concert repertoire that includes such works as the Stabat Mater settings by Dvořák, Poulenc, and Szymanowski. She has worked with such conductors as James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christian Thielemann, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Christine Goerke has garnered two Grammy Awards, one each for Britten’s War Requiem and Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony. She is a winner of the Richard Tucker Award and was named Vocalist of the Year in 2015 by Musical America.
Goerne, Matthias © Marco Borggreve
A native of Weimar, the baritone Matthias Goerne completed his vocal training with Hans-Joachim Beyer, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Lieder and concert music comprise the focus of his artistic work, and he commands a repertoire ranging from early music through the Classical and Romantic eras to contemporary works. In his lieder recitals he has collaborated with such musical partners as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif-Ove Andsnes, and Christoph Eschenbach. Goerne is also a successful performer in the area of music theater: in 1997 he made his debut as Papageno at the Salzburg Festival. Since then he has appeared as an opera performer at the Vienna, Bavarian, and Saxon Staatsoper companies; additional credits include at London’s Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and Zurich Opera. His repertoire ranges from Beethoven’s Pizarro through Wagner’s Wolfram, Amfortas, and Kurwenal and Orestes in Strauss’s Elektra to the title roles in Berg’s Wozzeck, Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler. In January 2015 Goerne made his debut singing Wotan in Das Rheingold in a concert performance in Hong Kong. During the 2014-15 season he also undertook an international tour with Markus Hinterhäuser performing Schubert’s Winterreise in a staging by William Kentridge; he has concertized with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi, the Vienna Philharmonic and Daniel Harding, the Chicago Symphony and Jaap van Zweeden, and the Israel Philharmonic under Christoph von Dohnányi. Goerne’s recordings have garnered the Grammy Award, the Diapason d’or, the ECHO Klassik, and the German Record Critics’ Prize; he is currently working on a comprehensive Schubert edition.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 1 September 1999 singing Schubert’s Winterreise, with Alfred Brendel at the keyboard.
11.00 and 14.00 | Richard Wagner Museum
Concert Introductions with Susanne Stähr (in German)
Free admission with a concert ticket and with advance registration here.