Sacred music was once again a focus of the Easter Festival in 2017, for events in the KKL’s Salle blanche as well as in the atmospheric setting of Lucerne’s churches. Teodor Currentzis, who made his spectacular Festival debut in 2015, returns with his ensemble musicAeterna to lead two concerts as artist-in-residence. Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed Mozarts Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major, K. 218. A vocal high point was the opening concert with the phenomenal Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva. Naturally an Easter classic such as Bach’s St. John Passion was on the program, performed by Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble while Monteverdi’s Vespers, which was staged in cooperation with the Luzerner Theater. Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio ensembles have been regular guests at the Easter Festival since 2004, and with Wolfgang Rihm’s Requiem-Strophen they presented a brand-new work of sacred music, Bernard Haitink’s master class in conducting, which has by now acquired cult status, was of course a part of the 2017 program. And for our youngest listeners the Lucerne Festival Alumni and Mike Svoboda presented “Once Around the World”, a musical circumnavigation at 78 rpm.