17 Jun 2024

Concert programme 2024


For years, the Ouverture spirituelle, some of which takes place within the resounding space of the Kollegienkirche, a unique baroque building by Fischer von Erlach, has now offered an extraordinary launching of the Salzburg Festival. The 2024 concert series bears the title “Et exspecto” – a reference to the Christian creed, which is oriented towards an expectation of the future, the resurrection of the dead and eternal life. However, it also encompasses expectation in general, a hope for something yet intangible. This tension between hope, uncertain expectation and longed-for eternity envelopes the musical range from renaissance to the classical and romantic eras and major works of our own times, including Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero and Nono’s Il canto sospeso.

From these two composers, it is easy to build a bridge to Arnold Schoenberg, one of the central figures in music history, whose 150th birthday is commemorated this year. To Luigi Nono, Schoenberg’s oeuvre offered important impulses for his own work; later, they were also connected by family ties.
Luigi Dallapiccola is considered “the first Italian composer ever to independently absorb Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique”. In Il prigioniero (1949), he used three twelve-tone rows which he associated with the terms “Prayer”, “Hope” and “Freedom”, the fundamental themes of his short opera.

Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, written in 1909/10 and premiered posthumously in 1912, can be described as a work which threw the gates to innovation wide open. It finishes with an endless Adagio resembling an equally drawn-out farewell by Mahler: a farewell to his life, to the form of the symphony, to an epoch about to perish – and to tonality itself. Roughly at the same time, Schoenberg was writing his String Quartet No. 2, in the last movement of which he gave up the major/minor tonality that had been valid for centuries. These two central works will also be heard during this 2024 Festival summer: Schoenberg’s in a chamber concert as part of the series “Time with Schoenberg”; Mahler’s Ninth will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Andris Nelsons.

We commemorate another anniversary in the Vienna Philharmonic’s concert series, namely the bicentennial of Anton Bruckner’s birth, a composer whose late symphonies also opened the doors to musical modernism. Riccardo Muti will conduct Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony for the first time ever.

And as if this were a matter of course, Salzburg once again presents the world’s most interesting pianists, the most captivating lied recitals, alongside fascinating chamber music programmes and the most remarkable soloists and orchestras from all over the world.

FlorianWiegand • Director of Concerts

First published in the Festival insert of Salzburger Nachrichten 2024

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag