Friday, 20 August 2010
Abbado: the zenith
Ever since I first clapped eyes and ears on Claudio Abbado's inaugural concerts with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in 2003, I knew that orchestral music-making never gets better than this. In their annual three weeks of working together, they've given us astounding Mahler, of which I've been uniquely privileged to hear the First and Seventh Symphonies live. All can be seen on expertly directed DVDs, with the exception of the Fourth - surely overdue for release.
Tonight marks what has to be an Alpine peak for both: the Ninth Symphony, written under a sentence of death similar to the one which afflicted great Claudio some years ago, and from which he miraculously emerged, frail in physical terms but stronger than ever interpretatively, capping even his years at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic with fresh wonders at Lucerne.
Let me simply draw your attention to the Festival's livestreaming in collaboration with Arte tonight (18.30 UK time). I'll go even hyperbolically further and add that if you only see one concert in your life, this has to be the one. And if you miss the live event, don't worry - it should be out on DVD in less than a year. Tschuss.