Lucerne and Gstaad

BY PETER MARCK

Just as prestigious as the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival hosts a long list of world class orchestras and conductors. The IPO arrived on a warm Friday afternoon in the middle of SommerFest, an alternative festival of street bands and musicians. The city’s squares were alive with an incredible mix of ensembles – Balkan Brass Bands, Classic-Cool Strings, and Country-Jazz to name just a few. It was a chance to stretch out on the lawn in the parks or have a soup and beer in town while hearing some pretty good groups. Although it was very hot, easily in the 90’s, Saturday morning was reserved for swimming at the “beach,” taking a lake steamer for a cruise or hiking. The concert at the KKL, Luzerne Center for Culture and Conventions was fueled by the momentum of Salzburg and was a huge success. 

Although we had an easy start to Sunday, it was a killer of a day. We drove 2 1/2 hours into the Alps through absolutely breathtaking scenery of lakes, mountains, green pastures and snowy peaks. Every curve of the road was accompanied by “oohs” and “ahs” and the click of smart phone cameras. The real work started in Gstaad: the festival tent reached 90 degrees during the rehearsal and concert and “our perspiration was the audience’s inspiration.”  It was a real sauna!!!! The cellos and basses were kept on the refrigerated truck which we turned it into our dressing room, but still, it was so hot that the fingerboard of one of the cellos came un-glued. 

After the concert we made a long trip to Zurich, arriving at midnight after a 3 1/2 hour drive to sleep at the airport for the next day’s flight. 

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Peter Marck joined the IPO in 1976 and since 1979 has been Principal Double Bass.