musicAeterna Residency in Lucerne:
18, 19 and 20 February 2021

Conducted by Teodor Currentzis, the musicAeterna orchestra and choir are one of the most outstanding phenomena in modern academic music. The ensemble was founded in Novosibirsk in 2004 and later spent seven years as part of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Since last autumn, musicAeterna has been residing at Dom Radio in Saint Petersburg.

The highlights of musicAeterna’s creative biography include triumphant performances at concert halls all around the world (from New York to Tokyo), appearances at festivals in Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, Lucerne and Brussels, theatrical collaborations with Robert Wilson, Romeo Castellucci and Peter Sellars, and recordings for Sony Classical which have won prestigious awards (ECHO Klassik, Edison Klassiek and others).

musicAeterna is a team of like-minded individuals following the creative philosophy of Teodor Currentzis. The ensemble does not simply perform music: instead, the musicians share their vision and perception of the pieces with the audience. Thus, musicAeterna chooses to accompany their concerts with open rehearsals, master classes, film viewings, lectures and public talks featuring guest experts. The residency in Lucerne is going to keep that tradition alive. A series of side events will expand the main programme and allow the audience to get better acquainted with the spirit and context of the performed pieces.

The inaugural residency in Lucerne will begin with master classes by two outstanding musicians: Afanasy Chupin (musicAeterna's concertmaster) and Alexei Zhilin (cello soloist at musicAeterna, member of David Oistrakh String Quartet). The master classes will let the audience discover the ensemble’s musical approach and learn about the way in which musicAeterna educates the next generation of unique musicians.

Master classes

The masterclasses are open to the audience to discover how musicAeterna prepares and educates the next generation of unique musicians giving insight into their musical approach.

February 18

12:30—13:30 | Auditorium, KKL Lucerne
Afanasy Chupin’s master-class (Violin)

February 18

14:00—15:00 | Auditorium, KKL Lucerne
Alexey Zhilin’s master-class (Cello)

Please support us and become a Friends or a Partner of Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna:

  • With an annual membership or a one-time donation, the Friends can support the orchestra in general, residencies, specific projects of musicAeterna, have access to international concerts and be invited to unforgettable events.
  • The Partners of musicAeterna help to create a financial security for the ensembles, enjoy with their guests unforgettable concerts and events, and benefit from an wide-ranging international branding.

More information

Main program

February 18
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Great Mass in C minor

17:00—18:00 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Public dress rehearsal

Free tickets

19:30—20:45 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

Tickets

February 19
Philippe Hersant
Tristia

19:30—21:00 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

Tickets

21:30—22:15 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Podium Discussion about “Faith, Freedom, Light” with Phillipp Hersant and Prof. Michail Meylac.Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne

22:15—22:45 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Talk by Teodor Currentzis

Free tickets

February 20
Jean-Philippe Rameau
The Sound of Light

12:00—14:00 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Tanya Skok’s Master class
Baroque Social Dance

Free tickets

19:30—20:45 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

Tickets

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Great Mass in C minor

February 18
Concert Sponsor:
Albert Behler and Robin Kramer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor is a piece of sacred music — yet it has a sheen of secular elegance while being equally rooted in the strict Bach tradition and the lively Italian opera. The coloratura cascades and breathtaking passages went against the Viennese mainstream culture of the time (which saw Joseph II bring ascetic liturgies into fashion), but they have retained the brilliance of the composer’s vision through the centuries.
The interpretation offered by Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna, however, does not separate “the sacred” from “the secular” in Mozart’s music.
The vital Mozart–Da Ponte opera trilogy (“Cosi fan tutte”, “Don Giovanni” and “Le nozze di Figaro”; performed at Perm Opera and released on Sony Classical) has no contradictions to the ecstatic Requiem: in fact, those are all but different angles to view the same phenomenon immediately recognized by critics. “Currentzis, on the other hand, draws back the curtain on the theatre of death and mourning, of fear and consolation, in a way that is not easily forgotten,” says Gramophone’s David Thresher in his review of the funeral mass recorded by the ensemble in 2010 for the Alpha label.
To Currentzis, Mozart is not just the greatest musician in the history of mankind but also the most contemporary composer who is “pushing the limits of our perception of good and evil”. Performing Mozart’s music is an almost transcendental experience for musicAeterna — a moment of perfect focus.
In 2019, musicAeterna presented the concert version of the Mozart–Da Ponte opera trilogy in Lucerne.
The Great Mass, which is going to premiere in the 2020/21 season in Vienna, Hamburg and Lucerne, is the next step in mastering Mozart’s legacy. You can witness the final preparations at musicAeterna’s open rehearsal on the day of the performance.

17:00—18:00 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Public dress rehearsal

19:30—20:45 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

Philippe Hersant.
Tristia

February 19
Created by Philippe Hersant upon the request of Perm Opera, “Tristia” is in fact rooted in an experiment merging social work and art practices. In 2012, prisoners at Clairvaux (a former abbey in France) were offered to express their pent-up thoughts and emotions through poetry.
The resulting poems were later expanded by lyrics written in Japanese, Corsican and Russian — including those by Varlam Shalamov and Osip Mandelstam. Hersant’s “Tristia” borrows its name from Mandelstam’s poetry book, which also bears a resemblance to “Tristia” (“Lamentations”) by Ovidius.
Built upon shattered fates and glued together by the collective experience of imprisonment, “Tristia” is more than a choir opera.
It is a musical cycle featuring various languages, composition forms and voice sets. As Hersant himself puts it, “the songs are very different and somewhat contrasting. Despite the dissimilarities, the French part and the Russian part form a single whole. In Tristia, music in fact is an important point of convergence”.
The sound of “Tristia” was sculpted with direct input from Teodor Currentzis; the world premiere of the piece was performed by the musicAeterna orchestra and choir in 2016. In this sense, the musicians are going to present the score that is truly theirs at the Lucerne residency.
Following the concert, the audience will have a chance to ponder on the eternal values at the “Faith, Freedom, Light” roundtable discussion featuring numerous artists and scientists.

19:30—21:00 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

21:30—22:15 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Podium Discussion about “Faith, Freedom, Light” with Phillipp Hersant and Prof. Michail Meylac.Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne

22:15—22:45 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Talk by Teodor Currentzis

Jean-Philippe Rameau.
The Sound of Light

February 20
The Sound of Light is the name of an album recorded by Teodor Currentzis, musicAeterna, Nadezhda Kutcher (soprano) and Alexei Svetov (bass) back in 2014. Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the eloquent French Baroque music connoisseur Jean-Philippe Rameau, the release featured excerpts from his key theatre works: “Les fêtes d'Hébé”, “Zoroastre”, “Les Boréades”, “Les Indes galantes”, “Castor et Pollux” and “Platée”.
The album is a bold (or even brash) interpretation of Rameau’s music, primarily aiming to unveil the everlasting beauty of the French master’s scores.
“Light is the most fascinating phenomenon in life,” says Teodor Currentzis. “Light lets us breathe, live, love. Yet how can you explain light to someone who has never seen the sun? I would play Rameau’s music to them — music which, like Apollo, is radiant and luminous.”
The Sound of Light remains one of the most in-demand programmes in the orchestra’s touring repertoire. Those who witnessed the premiere at KKL in 2015 will get to see how much the interpretation has evolved over 6 years — although the apollonic light of Rameau’s music will be equally fascinating to a newcomer.
In order to hear the true beauty of music, one should sometimes not just listen but also move — particularly when the music in question comes from the Baroque era. Before the “Sound of Light” performance, the audience is welcome to participate in a baroque dance master class by Tanja Skok, Slovenian choreographer and dance researcher. Merging with the beautiful music by Jean-Philippe Rameau, attendees will learn basic baroque dance steps and dive into the world of contredanses, which ruled dancefloors for decades.

12:00—14:00 | Panorama Foyer, KKL Lucerne
Tanya Skok’s Master class
Baroque Social Dance

19:30—20:45 | Concert Hall, KKL Lucerne
Concert

Photo by Alexandra Muravyeva, Stas Levshin, Alexandr Fefelov,
Nikita Chuntomov, Gunay Musaeva

Excerpt taken from “Rameau: Sound of Light” on Sony Classical