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Of Historic Tapestries and Musical Pilgrimages

24 JUL 2012

published in: Concert, General

Salzburg Cathedral, Photo: Luigi Caputo
The Ouverture spirituelle, however, offers not only sacred works by Catholic and Protestant composers. Every year, masterworks of the Christian tradition will be juxtaposed with those from another world religion. During the first season of 2012, this will be the Jewish faith, prominently represented by three concerts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. Three performances of the famous Jedermann also form part of this religious opening, in Christian Stückl’s revised 2010 production featuring Nicholas Ofczarek in the title role.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner begins with Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Then he takes you on a musical pilgrimage along the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome: on this medieval pilgrims’ trail, you will stop at major churches and monasteries, whose architecture the incomparable Monteverdi Choir will evoke with Renaissance vocal music.

Mozart returns to the Cathedral with his Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento and the Missa longa. We have obtained the permission of the Cathedral Museum to hang the historic tapestries in the Cathedral for this occasion, in order to create the same acoustics which Mozart would have found when he performed his masses. For this event, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts his Concentus Musicus and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir.

Claudio Abbado, on the other hand, dedicates himself and his Orchestra Mozart to the earliest known mass by Mozart – the Orphanage Mass of 1768 – in combination with Schubert’s last contribution to this genre. Another work of Salzburg’s young genius in residence will be conducted by Ivor Bolton: Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, in which a “lukewarm Christian” is to be saved from the seductive influence of the worldly spirit.

However, the Ouverture spirituelle also offers you encounters with such popular works as Handel’s Messiah (in an arrangement by Mozart!) and Bruckner’s Te Deum. Antonín Dvořák called his Mass in D-Major, accompanied only by the organ, a very personal manifestation of “faith, hope and love for God”. And finally, the Protestant side is represented by an exquisite selection of Bach motets. 

Please click here to go to the overview of the concerts.