COE’s räsonanz concert in Lucerne


Following on from our performance of the räsonanz-founders concert of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in Munich on June 9 as part of the musica viva music series, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe will also present the annual Lucerne Festival räsonanz concert on 20 August.  The Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung supports contemporary orchestral classical music and our focus for this programme, exclusively developed for the 2018 Lucerne Festival, is on works by Kurtág and Holliger.

Under the musical direction of Heinz Holliger and together with soloists Sir András Schiff, Zoltán Fejérvári and Miklós Perényi, the full programme will include works by Arnold Schönberg, Ludwig von Beethoven, György Kurtág and Heinz Holliger himself.

This räsonanz concert starts with the Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 by the founding father of Modernism, Arnold Schönberg. Alumni of the Lucerne Festival Academy then join the COE in two works by György Kurtág both entitled “Quasi una fantasia” (Opus 27 Nos 1 and  2). The unusual scoring for Opus 2 requires two chamber ensembles to be positioned separately around the concert hall. Kurtág’s works were inspired by two Beethoven  Piano Sonatas of the same Opus (Opus 27 1&2) of which No 2 is better known as the “Moonlight” Sonata. Sir András Schiff is the driving force in pairing these works that are so closely connected and he will play the Beethoven Sonatas. For the performance of Kurtág’s Double Concerto (Opus 27/2) Hungarian pianist Zoltán Fejérvári will be joined by cellist Miklós Perényi, who was also involved in the actual world première of the piece in 1990 at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt.


Heinz Holliger’s COncErto? Certo! cOn soli pEr tutti is the final masterpiece of the evening. The work, commissioned by the Köln Philharmonie for COE, was composed for the 20th anniversary of the Orchestra in 2001 with its individual players in mind. The acronym of our name is not only concealed in the title, but many of the solo parts were written especially for specific members of the COE, characterising their personalities. The full work consists of a collection of 40 solos, duets and ensemble pieces of which a selection can be assembled, or can partially even be played simultaneously.

For this performance, Holliger conducts 8 of the ensemble pieces, which will be interspersed with solos by Matthew Wilkie on bassoon in Matthewmatics, Kai Frömbgen and Rachel Frost on oboe in A reedy Double, Richard Lester on cello in Fantasiestücke, Sally Jane Pendlebury on cello in Recitativo appassionato and Benoit de Barsony on horn in Cynddaredd-Brenddwyd.

This performance of Holliger’s COncErto? Certo! cOn soli pEr tutti will be the first the COE has ever given after its world première and initial performances in Cologne, Berlin, London and the Lucerne Festival in 2001.

Rachel Frost introduces the solo "a reedy Double" for two oboes

A short clip of our räsonanz concert in Lucerne with extracts of Schönberg's Chamber Symphony and Kurtág's "Quasi una fantasia"


räsonanz Concert Series

The COE has “established itself internationally as a first-rate ensemble for contemporary music, that makes competitors think twice” – according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung following our previous räsonanz concert in Munich last month.

This concert is the COE’s second performance as part of the räsonanz concert series organised by the Lucerne Festival in collaboration with the music viva festival of the Bayerische Rundfunk. The series is largely supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, whose aim it is to set the benchmark for the interpretation of contemporary classical music and to bring the most significant works of the last seventy years into the standard repertoire.

The COE appears at this year’s Lucerne Festival twice more together with Bernard Haitink on 18 and 23 August.

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