Zwischentöne -
Chamber Music Festival Engelberg

October 25th to 27th, 2019

"Ainsi la nuit"


Dear Chamber Music Lovers,


"Thus the night", our theme for this year's festival, leads us into darker regions. What is possible at night that daylight hinders? Does our soul tend towards melancholy? Does the darkness trick us into seeing apparitions? Are we tempted to mischievous deeds? Or are we rather able to be, under the gentle cover of darkness, more honest, more loving and more forgiving?

The works we present this year, our 5th season (!), circle around these questions and others. We begin with Il Tramonto (the sunset) joined by soprano Juliane Banse and finish the opening program with Schubert's piano trio in E-flat major, the slow movement based on the Swedish folk song See, the sun is setting. The highly talented young Ukranian-Israeli pianist, Roman Rabinovich, joins us for the first time in the Schubert.

Our Friday Late-Night concert this year features Piazolla's Tango Sensations and the Merel Quartet in a first-time collaboration with the well-known Argentinian bandoneon player and composer Marcelo Nisinman.

A Matinee concert on Saturday gives us a French angle with one of the 20th century's most important string quartets: Ainsi la nuit by Henri Dutilleux. Rafael Rosenfeld will give a pre-concert lecture on this work. In celebration of the 90th birthday of one of America's greatest composers, we are excited to present George Crumb's Apparition with the Swiss-Romanian soprano Irina Ungureanu and Spanish pianist Claudio Martinez-Mehner. Debussy's Estampes round off this program with an evening in Andalusia.

This year's commission by Roland Moser, Rencontres nocturnes, features the Merel Quartet with Juliane Banse and will receive its premier on Saturday evening.

Rainer Maria Rilke's Poems Gedichte an die Nacht (Poems to the Night) feature in the matinee on Sunday morning alongside short musical works by Granados, Liszt, Kurtág, Bartók, Holliger, Lehmann and others. Actress Graziella Rossi, beloved to Zürich audiences for her readings of the great poets, will join us for this Music and Literature matinee.

In further highlights, the Merel Quartet expands to a quintet by partnering with Swiss violist Jürg Dähler, and to a sextet for Schönbergs highly romantic Transfigured Night and Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Juliane Banse. For the sextets we are additionally joined by the gifted Italian cellist Enrico Bronzi, a friendship which began years ago in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Our festival comes to a close this year with Brahms' glorious string quintet Op 111 in G major, originally intended as his final work.


Mary Ellen Woodside and Rafael Rosenfeld

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The Artists


All concerts except for the Late Night take place in the Baroque Hall of the monastery

Special event: Musical Monastery Tour
A guided tour of the baroque monastery with musical surprises
Friday October 25th 2019 4pm Details »
Opening concert Friday October 25th 2019 7pm Details »
Late Night
"Tango sensations"
Friday October 25th 2019 10.30pm Details »
Matinee: "Apparitions" Saturday October 26th 2019 11am
10.15ampre concert lecture
Details »
Open Workshop-Rehearsal
A program intended especially for a young audience – but all interested listeners are welcome!
Saturday October 26th 2019 3pm Details »
Evening concert: "Rencontres nocturnes" Saturday October 26th 2019 7pm
followed by dinner with artists
Details »
Matinee Music & Literature Sunday October 27th 2019 11am
(time changes to winter time!)
Details »
Final concert: "Transfigured night" Sunday October 27th 2019 5pm
followed by apero
Details »



The festival hotel H+ Hotel&Spa offers special conditions for visitors of the Festival. Book your room together with the concert tickets, and live in the same hotel as the musicians.

Infos on the hotel:

Booking packages:



Pedro Zimmermann, Business Director




Getting there

Train: 43 Min. from Lucerne. Last connections from Engelberg 9.02pm/10.02pm/10.30pm/11.30pm. 

The monastery is reachable within 8 Minutes from the station. 


Car: Drive via Stans. Parking next to the monastery. 




Cover foto Monastery: Christian Perret
Merel Quartet and E.Mätzener: Hannes Heinzer
ME. Woodside and R. Rosenfeld: Marco Borggreve at KKL Luzern
D. Várjon and I. Simon: Balázs Böröcz
V. Räisänen: Lasse Nissilä
Y. Lee: Giorgia Bertazzi
F. Renggli: Aaron Dan
R. Bieri: Priska Ketterer
S. O'Brien: Georg Thum
M. Huemer: Victor Marin Román




We are very grateful to our partners:
IG Engelberg  - Elsener-Gut Stiftung - Geert und Lore Blanken-Schlemper Stiftung -
Verein Freunde Zwischentöne Engelberg