It has been a tradition since the days of Karajan: To start off the new season, the Berliner Philharmoniker travel to give guest performances in Salzburg and Lucerne. The attraction of the Lucerne concerts increased even more after 1998 when the concert hall of the Culture and Convention Centre, now famous for its top-class acoustics, was opened – incidentally, with a concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado.
For the second Lucerne concert of 2015, chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle assembled a programme dedicated to the First Viennese School with works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn. The concert opens with Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for violin, viola and orchestra: a work whose attraction lies on the one hand in the charming dialogue between the two solo instruments, and on the other hand in its large-scale symphonic form which demonstrates the high standards demanded by the composer. The soloists are Daishin Kashimoto, First Concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the orchestra’s First Principal Viola, Amihai Grosz.
The concert closes with an “imaginary orchestral journey” through the music of Joseph Haydn. For this ten-part montage, Simon Rattle brings together the wittiest, most thoughtful and most eccentric moments in Haydn’s gigantic oeuvre. It includes ornate depictions of nature, a slow movement which repeatedly and unexpectedly breaks off, a deliberately messy opening orchestral tutti, and the famous “Farewell”, in which all the musicians, including the conductor, gradually clear the podium until only a lonely violin duet remains.