“This wonderful, life-affirming concert is the last video recording of a performance by Maestro Abbado. His performances with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra were the pinnacle of a long and glorious career. Abbado managed to make every piece, no matter how rich in texture, sound like chamber music. You felt the musicians listening to each other and making music together, rather than simply following the conductor.
The Brahms Tragic Overture is played with searing intensity and incredible tonal beauty in the lyrical moments. The excerpts from Schönberg’s Gurrelieder are remarkable! The playing of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is staggering. The beauty and depth of tone of the strings is without equal and the handpicked woodwind and brass sections play with an amazing range of colors. Mihoko Fujimura sings the “Song of the Wood Dove” with great beauty and intenstity. The Beethoven Eroica Symphony performance is the finest I have ever heard. The Funeral March is shattering and deeply moving.
Maestro Abbado’s was always searching for the emotional, existential truth behind the notes and that is evident in every phrase of this concert. It is a perfect memorial to this great Maestro.” (Review on Amazon.com by Chicago Musician)
Especially with the 3rd (Eroica) symphony by Beethoven (starting from 43:32) I felt that life can defeat death – Abbado, only a few moths before his death presented himself as unbeatable, as an eternal source and medium of music and deepest humanity. I cannot content myself with the joy on the faces of the musicians and Abbado during playing!