Recorded live at the Lucerne Festival, Summer 2003
Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne, 21 August 2003
Eteri Gvazava - soprano
Anna Larsson - mezzo-soprano
José Antonio Sainz Alfaro - chorus master
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado - conductor
0:00 Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
1:37 I. Allegro maestoso
22:26 II. Andante moderato
32:18 III. [Scherzo] In ruhig fließender Bewegung
43:38 IV. Urllicht. Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht
48:42 V. Im Tempo des Scherzo. Wild herausfahrend - "Auferstehn"
Resurrection in Lucerne
Lucerne Festival. 21 August 2003, 7.30 pm. The atmosphere in the large concert hall in the spectacular, steel and glass Culture and Convention Centre built on the shore of Lake Lucerne by the French star architect Jean Nouvel is electric. The event was sold out months ago. Here and there a throat is softly cleared, people settle in their seats, their faces alert and expectant. At last, doors open and the members of the newly founded Lucerne Festival Orchestra come on to the platform. There are many very well-known faces: the clarinettist Sabine Meyer and Emmanuel Pahud, the fleet-fingered first flute from the Berliner Philharmoniker, Natalie Gutman among the cellists, members of the Hagen and Alban Berg Quartets among the rank and file of strings, and other players include Albrecht Mayer (oboe), Kolya Blacher (violin) and Wolfram Christ (viola).
Lucerne en fête
What kind of orchestra is this, formed of the most famous instrumentalists, the most celebrated chamber-music players, the most experienced soloists from the world's best orchestras? With Claudio Abbado to conduct it, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker up until the previous year, for whom the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is the realization of a wholly personal dream? One answer, at least, is obvious: lt is an orchestra of superlatives. "After this first appearance", the press agreed, "there can be no argument: orchestral cultivation of this calibre is scarcely to be heard anywhere else."
The Lucerne Festival has a long tradition of generating its own orchestras. The best remembered is probably the Swiss Festival Orchestra, which assembled "the best orchestral musicians of Switzerland" (to quote the Original memorandum of association) to give the concerts that formed the festival's backbone every year from 1943 to 1993. But the idea of an elite orchestra goes back further, to the summer of 1938. This was the year in which Arturo Toscanini dissociated himself from the Salzburg Festival for political reasons; a handpicked orchestra was formed for him to conduct in Lucerne (the members of the legendary Busch Quartet, banned frorn playing in Germany, sat at the first desks of the string section) and his "concert de gala" marked the moment when Lucerne was new-born as a festival city.
GUSTAV MAHLER: SYMPHONY NO. 2 "RESURRECTION" (LUCERNE FESTIV