Claudio Abbado conducts Prokofiev and Mahler – With Yuja Wang

Lucerne Festival 2009

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Program notes

Legendary Italian Maestro Claudio Abbado and the 22-year-old Yuja Wang opened the 2009 Lucerne Festival with an amazing performance of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3.

The work, composed in 1921, was not well received when it was premiered. However, it would soon become one of the composer’s most popular works, following a recording by London Symphony Orchestra, under Piero Coppola's baton. It is unquestionably one of the most exciting piano concertos to watch, rather than simply to hear, especially when performed by Yuja Wang.

Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra complete the concert with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, composed in 1888. This was another work to be poorly received by the critics upon its premiere, compelling Mahler to make several modifications. However, today it is widely revered as one of the finest first symphonies by any composer.

Photo: Georg Anderhub

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