Sometimes The Best Holiday You Can Have

29 August 2017
Christian Heubes

Christian Heubes



I arrived in Lucerne three days before the project coming directly from our Academy Project in Bolzano.

I was so looking forward to go hiking in these days in combination with preparing almost 20 pieces we played in 16 days. It was a big challenge because the rehearsal time was very tight, but I enjoyed coming back to KKL and playing surrounded by fantastic musicians (thank you Claudia Schmidt next to me, dealing with all my emotional comments!), a very exciting program starting with Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, Till Eulenspiegel’s lustige Streiche, Tod und Verklärung and as encore Salome’s Dance.The way the music is written, one of the difficulties is to make it transparent enough in order to be able to listen the important voices in the music, especially with such a big and exceptional sounding orchestra. It was a lot of fun to figure out who’s playing with my voice and to listen to that musician or group, or just getting in dialogue with the person while catching all the notes Strauss wrote. Time was flying in these days. The second and third program were dominated by pieces by Stravinsky. Sacre du printemps is always a deep experience to perform and play as well the more unknown Scherzo fantastique, Feu d’artifice and the recovered funeral song, compositions from the young Stravinsky.
On our free day the whole MCO got invited by the lovely patrons Rita and Seppi Berwert at their home and garden in Stalden. I enjoyed so much the warm hospitality by the whole family with wonderful barbecue, wines, inspiring conversations and many Slacklines in the garden where everybody could try to find his center and energy for the coming intensive days with Tchaikovky’s Manfred Symphony and Mendelssohn program. Thank you so much for having us, it was a lovely day.
We were lucky with the weather this year in Lucerne so I jumped after almost every rehearsal day once to the wonderful lake with some of my colleagues. Watching the mountains while swimming and still having Salome’s Dance in my ears was a perfect procedure to slowly finish the day before meeting friends from the orchestra for dinner.

The last part of our journey through so many masterpieces was with my beloved Mahler Chamber Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth, with two Haydn symphonies, no. 22 The Philosopher and no. 96. I had so much fun as always with my fantastic colleague and friend Naomi Peters sharing my stand. A pure joy to come back to our chamber orchestra sound with a lively, energetic and inspiring François-Xavier Roth. The Bartók Dance Suite was tricky to puzzle together in our short rehearsal time as well Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto played exceptionally different as usual by Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The violin concerto was one of my big favorite pieces during my studies. I won’t forget how many hours I spent with that composition and I’m grateful to be able to have listened to it really in a new interpretation after all the years, I got surprised and touched in many passages by Patricia’s words even if I understand it differently sometimes by Bartók. Thank you Patricia!
As I came home my friends asked me where I have been in holiday in August and I answered I was playing music the whole month, sometimes the best holiday you can have!

Photos: Christian Heubes / Geoffroy Schied / Lucerne Festival-Priska Ketterer