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The Alpine Symphony for the opening of the season

Past Event
Thu, 19. October 2023 | 19:30 UhrKKL Luzern, Konzertsaal

18.30 Uhr | Concert introduction by Dr. Jakob Knaus

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 ‒ 1791)

    • Ouvertüre zur Oper «Don Giovanni»

  • Richard Strauss (1864 ‒ 1949)

    • Konzert für Violine und Orchester d-Moll op. 8

  • Richard Strauss

    • Eine Alpensinfonie op. 64

Bored in his mathematics lessons, the 17-year-old grammar school pupil Richard Strauss secretly jotted down composition sketches in his exercise book. This was the birth of his violin concerto. It is charming, elegant, melodious music that prompted even the harsh Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick to speak of “no ordinary talent”. What became of this talent is probably most impressively shown by the Alpine Symphony, completed 30 years later. It is an orchestral tour de force, a gigantic orchestral hymn to the sublime mountain world, ahomage to the eternal, glorious natural world” according to Strauss. He was inspired by early experiences from his youth, including memories of a mountain tour he had undertaken as afourteen-year-old in 1878. He describes the departure at two o’clock in the morning, five hours of climbing, the sunrise and a rest at the summit, then a three-hour descent over hill and dale in thunderstorms and rain. “The next day I performed the score on the piano,” he wrote to his childhood friend Ludwig Thuille. “Swathes of tone painting and Wagnerianpap, of course.” This is precisely what the experts subsequently argued about: whether this was cheap musical picture-postcard kitsch or Straussʼ most ambitious orchestral work. Soon, however, the factions were united: The Alpine Symphony represents the pinnacle of his orchestral oeuvre.

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