Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Yoav Levanon, and Elisabeth Leonskaja perform Liszt, Grieg, Haydn and Mendelssohn

Le Piano Symphonique Festival 2024 — With Michael Sanderling and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

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Janine Jansen — Violinist

Mischa Maisky — Cellist

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra — Orchestra

Michael Sanderling — Conductor

Program notes

Lucerne’s piano festival Le Piano Symphonique is back with an absolutely thrilling third edition featuring the legendary Martha Argerich in the role of featured artist (pianiste associée)!

This high-flying concert begins with a pair of nineteenth-century concertos, both monuments of the repertoire. First, Yoav Levanon takes the stage to perform Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 alongside the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, under the baton of maestro Michael Sanderling. A single chromatic theme dominates the composition and was supposedly sung to the words “Das versteht ihr alle nicht, haha!” (“You do not understand any of this, haha!”) by the composer’s son-in-law Hans von Bülow, one of the earliest interpreters of the concerto. Continuing in the Romantic tradition is Elisabeth Leonskaja with Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 51, the only concertante work by the composer. An instant critical success, Grieg’s masterpiece was composed in Denmark but is filled with Norwegian melodies and a sense of melancholy for his native land. Next comes a chamber music dream team as pianiste associée, Argerich herself, takes the spotlight alongside virtuosos Janine Jansen and Mischa Maisky in a performance of Haydn’s Piano Trio No. 39 in G Major—nicknamed the “Gypsy” Trio, as its famous final movement (the "Gypsy Rondo") takes the form of a Rondo composed in Hungarian style. The concert closes on a Romantic note with Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 41, the composer’s most popular chamber composition, brimming with memorable melodies and stirring harmonies.

Photo © Tom Howard / Barbican
Janine Jansen appears courtesy of Decca Classics. Elisabeth Leonskaja and Yoav Levanon appear courtesy of Warner Classics.

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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