On Sunday, 6 April, 4pm, arte and the Lucerne Festival offer a live stream of the Lucerne Festival’s memorial concert for Claudio Abbado, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Soloists Bruno Ganz and Isabelle Faust, as well as the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Andris Nelsons will honour the conductor.
From the Lucerne Festival’s website:
“Opening the program will be the first movement from Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, which Claudio Abbado conducted during his last performance in Lucerne in August 2013 — the final concert of his career. Therefore no one will take Abbado’s place on the podium for that selection, for the musicians wish to perform this music in his spirit, without any other conductor. Following this, Bruno Ganz, who visited Abbado just a few days before his death and read him verses by Hölderlin, will recite one of these poems. The program continues with Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, which is dedicated ‘to the memory of an angel.’ The soloist will be Isabelle Faust, who recorded this very work with Claudio Abbado in 2011. To conclude the concert, they will perform the finale from Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony, which the composer originally planned to title ‘What love tells me.’ The works by Berg and Mahler will be conducted by Andris Nelsons, who will also lead the Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s four concerts this summer.”
Universal Edition mourns the death of Claudio Abbado, a conductor who made a great contribution to the acceptance of the Second Viennese School, most significantly in Vienna itself. As a founder of Vienna’s Wien Modern festival in 1988, he created an independent forum for the music of the 20th century.
Beyond his focus on the music of Schönberg, Berg and Webern – whose music was central to the first festival – and Mahler (Vienna’s influence on his own understanding of Mahler is reflected in our interview, see below), Abbado also showed great interest in his own contemporaries. The Lucerne Concert Hall was inaugurated in 1998 with a concert by Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with a performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s IN-SCHRIFT.
Abbado’s championship of modern music will remain an example to us.
Celebrating Claudio Abbado’s 80th birthday today, we made a video for an interview with the conductor that we did for our book Gustav Mahler: The conductors’ Interviews.
The conductor talks about the first time he heard Mahler’s music, his experiences with Bruno Walter, Zubin Mehta and Herbert von Karajan, and the death of Mahler’s brother, the “first stroke of fate” in the composer’s life.
The Interview is in German with English subtitles.