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LUCERNE FESTIVAL 2013 - A new Ring Cycle

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 | 12:50:00 am


LUCERNE FESTIVAL celebrates its 75th anniversary! In 1938 the Festival, which operated under the name of “Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern” until 2000, originated with a legendary “Concert de Gala” led by Arturo Toscanini.

 The “Anniversary Summer” of 2013 will focus on the theme of “Revolution.” When Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “Le Sacre du Printemps” was premiered on 29 May 1913 in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the archaic power of this music had a shocking impact. There was booing, whistling, and shouting – even outright fighting. Arguably the most memorable of scandalous premieres in the history of music, at the same time it has become a vibrant symbol for the early 20th century, for the overthrow, reversal, and reorientation of values in that era.

 LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer will take the centenary of this famously scandalous work as an occasion to devote itself to music associated with upheaval and times of change. The focus will be on composers who initiated radical innovations and whose music responded to political, social, and cultural revolutions: from Carlo Gesualdo through Ludwig van Beethoven and Hector Berlioz to Gustav Mahler, the “contemporary of the future.” From Arnold Schoenberg and Dmitri Shostakovich, whose works take the October Revolution and its aftermath as their theme, to Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez, and Helmut Lachenmann. And of course “Le Sacre” itself can hardly be overlooked ….

 One special focus will be given to the great operatic revolutionary Richard Wagner, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated in 2013. Jonathan Nott, the Bamberg Symphony, and a first-rate cast of soloists will present the complete “Ring of the Nibelung,” which Wagner was still working on during his years in Tribschen near Lucerne.