Riccardo Chailly conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36. The concert was recorded live during the Summer Festival in Lucerne, at KKL Luzern, Concert Hall, on August 17, 2019.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Fourth Symphony between 1877 and 1878, dedicated to his patroness and "best friend" Nadezhda von Meck.
Following his catastrophic marriage to former student Antonina Miliukova, lasting a mere two months, Tchaikovsky made a start on his fourth symphony. After emerging from a profound period of writer's block, struggling with his sexuality and battling with a heavy bout of depression, it's perhaps unsurprising that the music is urgent, supercharged and violent at points. Even the opening bars of the first movement are intended to represent a metaphor for Fate, or, as poor old Tchaikovsky put it: "the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness".
Between the moments of anguish and melancholy, Tchaikovsky proves he knows how to write a great tune – even the plaintive oboe melody at the beginning of the second movement, the Andantino in modo di canzone, swells with a poignancy and optimism, helped along by lush strings and booming brass.
The Finale, complete with frenzied plucking from the strings and rushing scales bursting through the texture, is certainly a highlight. The doom-laden Fate theme comes back once more – a cyclical feature Tchaikovsky went on to use in the two symphonies that followed, Manfred, and Symphony No.5, completed in 1885 and 1888 respectively.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
♪ Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36 (1877-1878)
i. Andante sostenuto – Moderato con anima – Moderato assai, quasi Andante – Allegro vivo [06:30]*
ii. Andantino in modo di canzone [26:30]
iii. Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato – Allegro [37:07]
iv. Finale. Allegro con fuoco [49:18]
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
Summer Festival, Lucerne, KKL Luzern, Concert Hall, August 17, 2019
* Start time of each movement
Riccardo Chailly has been Music Director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra since 2016. Born in 1953 in Milan, he studied at the Conservatories of Perugia, Rome, and Milan and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado at La Scala in Milan. Chailly was appointed Music Director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1980, and in 1988 he took up the same position with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which he helmed for sixteen years. From 2005 to the summer of 2016, Riccardo Chailly served as head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has been Music Director of La Scala in Milan since January 2015. Chailly regularly conducts such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the United States, he has worked with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor – in addition to his performances at La Scala – he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, Zurich Opera, the Bavarian and Vienna Staatsoper companies, Chicago Lyric Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Riccardo Chailly has received many prizes for his more than 150 CDs, including Gramophone's Record of the Year Award for his account of the Brahms symphonies. In the fall of 2019, he will release an album of three Strauss tone poems with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Riccardo Chailly is a Grand'Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 1996 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and he has been an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France since 2011.
Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut on 7 September 1988 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in a program of works by Wagner, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky.
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
The idea for a unique festival orchestra of international standing in Lucerne goes back to Arturo Toscanini, who in 1938 convened acclaimed virtuosos of the time into an elite ensemble with the legendary "Concert de Gala". It was 65 years later that the conductor Claudio Abbado and Festival Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger established a connection to this moment of the Festival's birth and founded the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which made its public debut in August 2003. With Riccardo Chailly, this unique orchestra once again has an Italian music director. Moreover, each summer a guest conductor is invited in order to offer the audience an additional musical perspective.
Every summer famous soloists, chamber musicians, renowned music teachers, and principals of the leading European orchestras, along with members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and of the Orchestra of La Scala in Milan, join together in Lucerne to form an ensemble that is special class. Many of the musicians spend their vacations here to rehearse and experience afresh a symphonic repertoire free from workaday regimentation and routine.
Many stars of the classical music scene have played in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra over the years: members of the Alban Berg and Hagen Quartets; the violinists Kolja Blacher and Renaud Capuçon; the violists Wolfram Christ and Antoine Tamestit; the cellists Jens Peter Maintz, Natalia Gutman, Gautier Capuçon, and Julian Steckel; the flutists Jacques Zoon and Emmanuel Pahud; the clarinetists Sabine Meyer and Alessandro Carbonare; the oboists Lucas Macías Navarro and Albrecht Mayer; the horn players Alessio Allegrini and Ivo Gass; the trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich and Jeroen Berwaerts; the trombonist Jörgen van Rijen; the timpanist Raymond Curfs; and the list goes on and on... and every summer still more new names come along.
The orchestra sets the tone for the opening week of Lucerne Festival with several symphony concerts. And at the season's end comes the grand tour. Foreign residencies have taken these musicians throughout Europe and to Asia and the USA.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor – Ivan Bessonov, Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra, Dimitris Botinis (HD 1080p)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Seasons – Olga Scheps (HD 1080p)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor "Pathétique" – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali (HD 1080p)