Saturday, 20 August 2011

Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Mozart and Bruckner.

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado conductor

Mozart: symphony nr 35 Haffner.
Bruckner: Symphony nr 5.

Mozarts symphony nr 35 was the first symphony he wrote in Vienna. In 1776 Mozart was asked to write a serenade for the wedding celebrations of Marie Elisabeth Haffner, daughter of the late Sigmund Haffner who had been a good friend to Leopold, Mozarts father. It made a lasting impression on the family and they wanted more. Elisabeths son Sigmund Haffner jr, was to be awarded a noble title in the summer of 1782 and they asked Leopold to ask his son for more music. Mozart was very busy at the time and was not able to finish the music on time. It was sent to Salzburg in multiple installments. The family was so pleased with the symphony to which Mozart replied: "I am delighted that the symphony is to your taste".

Claudio has recently recorded several of Mozarts symphonys including the Haffner with Orchestra Mozart on Archive productions. Highly recommended. In the hands of Claudio and the festival orchestra it was just pure perfection. The freshness and the joy of this symphony was amazing. A very youthful interpretation.

Bruckners fifth symphony is very much like building a palace of notes. A structure some people might find boring and endless. This is the only symphony that has a slow introduction which can be heard again in the last movement. The austrians were not kind to Bruckner. People mocked him on the streets of Vienna for his poor clothing. He was a great admirer of Wagner and Stenhammar. His use of horns is a trademark. You can hear it in every symphony. Claudio is a conductor who listens to music from a chamber music perspective and some people think it is to elegant but pay no attention to that. With yesterdays performance he delivered so much power from his orchestra that you could feel the music in your body. Claudio is able to find just the right sound. From the slow pizzicato in the beginning to the grand finale with sonatas and fuges everything falls in to place. At the rehearsal earlier this week it was amazing to see him talk with the musicians at such a personal level. They know what he wants.

After tonight the orchestra will go on tour for Paris, Baden-Baden and London in october.

6/10 Baden- Baden Festpielhaus.

8/10 Paris, Salle Pleyel

9-11/10 Southbank centre London

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