In Lucerne, short concerts—and Andris Nelsons—are a success

Posted on: August 25, 2014

In Monday’s (8/25) New York Times, James Oestreich reports from Switzerland, where multiple conductors are leading Lucerne Festival concerts following the death last January of music director Claudio Abbado. “On Friday, Andris Nelsons and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra returned to the KKL Concert Hall, where they had opened the festival a week before with a Brahms concert … The Brahms performance was wonderful…. Slowish tempos in the first and third movements merely added to a general sense of luxuriance in the sound…. The [festival’s] 40 Minutes events—each intended as a sort of snapshot of the festival, whether a lecture-demonstration or an open rehearsal—and the Lounge series represent the festival’s attempts to attract wider audiences, and younger listeners in particular. Michael Haefliger, who recently renewed his contract as the Lucerne Festival’s executive and artistic director to 2020 … expressed particular satisfaction at the family turnouts at 40 Minutes events, and at [a Simon] Rattle talk, there were huge pillows for parents with small children right up front…. Mr. Nelsons’s superb Brahms performance can only intensify the question, amid rampant speculation, whether Mr. Abbado’s orchestra will next year become Mr. Nelsons’s to keep.”

Posted August 25, 2014