For two months every summer, Lucerne becomes the crossroads for the world’s great musicians and orchestras. The IPO joined the Vienna Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Concertgebouw; appearing with 2 programs: an all-Tchaikovsky concert with soloist Vadim Repin and a “Spanish” program of Albeniz, De Falla, Debussy and Ravel with pianist Javier Perianes.

The Lucerne Culture and Convention Center is a superb concert hall. The sound of the orchestra was absolutely glorious and the setting, on the shore of Lake Lucerne is magnificent. The mountains are reflected in the quiet waters of the lake, the only ripples caused by swans gliding by. Of course, Switzerland with its order, cleanliness and wealth is impressive in itself. The overvalued Swiss Franc made a cup of coffee 26 NS and a simple dinner 250 NS!

The orchestra was accompanied in Switzerland by veteran “Yedioth” reporter (and music lover) Smadar Perry. Although she is Middle East editor, it was her chance to take a break from the turmoil of the Arab world and enjoy more harmonious sounds with the Philharmonic. (Hopefully the London concert will be an exception!) For an unusual evening, she presented a lecture on the Middle East situation created by the “Arab Spring”. It was “unusual” because musicians don’t generally seek-out intellectual stimulation on tour, and forty orchestra members attended. The glimpse into the intimate world of Husneh Mubarak, who she knew for 30 years, was revealing and fascinating.

Her article about the tour, including an interview with Maestro Mehta will be featured in Friday’s newspaper.


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