Kökény Attila – 10 years/10 duets Grand Jubilee Concert

ORCHESTRAL CONCERT: STILL, ADAMS, IVES JOSEFOWICZ, ROBERTSON

Program

WILLIAM GRANT STILL:
DARKER AMERICA

JOHN ADAMS:
VIOLIN CONCERTO

INTERVAL

CHARLES IVES:
SYMPHONY NO. 2

Featuring

CONDUCTOR

DAVID ROBERTSON

FEATURING

LEILA JOSEFOWICZ (violin)

About the event

A Concert from America – this could be the title of the program, as this time, the protagonists will be three iconic figures of American music writing, a conductor born in California and an American-Canadian violinist. The evening will start with a piece by William Grant Still, the “doyen of Afro-American composers” and an iconic figure of symphonic jazz, and continue with the Violin Concerto of John Adams, one of the greatest composers post-Steve Reich. We could hardly find more authentic performers for the latter than Leila Josefowicz. She collaborates in person with the composer and David Robertson, who made three recordings from Adams’s oeuvre as the musical director of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Following the concerto with an “endless melody”, the program will conclude with the king of musical references, the symphony of Charles Ives, displaying the most bizarre final chords in the history of music.

Although Gershwin is the first composer to come to mind when thinking of early 20th century American works combining jazz with symphonic music, several other artists of the era also produced significant milestones in the field. African-American William Grant Still successfully blended European composed music with genres of African roots and managed to draw the appreciation of the profession. Several of his compositions were inspired by the relationship between African Americans and society. In his symphonic poem entitled Darker America, the wavering theme introduced by the strings recalls the journey of his own people, and is then extended by the themes of “sorrow” (English horn) and “hope” (brass).

“Anyone who wants to become familiar with contemporary music should listen to this”, recommended Kristóf Csengery John Adams’s Violin Concerto composed in 1993. The composer had to overcome several obstacles before starting this piece. As he had no deep knowledge of the instrument, he needed the help of a violinist, which was provided by Jorja Fleezanis, who was also the soloist at the premiere. In addition, he thought a concerto needed some melody, while he had been writing music without melodies for years. Eventually, he could overcome this obstacle as well and completed the “hypermelodic” Violin Concerto. After the dreamlike rhapsody of the first movement, the violin hovers around the musical fabric of the orchestra like a ghost and then the concerto concludes with a virtuoso, almost motoric finale.

Ives composed his second symphony at the turn of the last century between his first, a European composition to the last note, and his third, an entirely American piece. The premiere half a century later was a huge success. However, the composer, who was listening to the concert on the radio, only silently spat when the ovation started. He was just like that: he didn’t care for success. In the five-movement composition Ives alludes to the simple American songs, marches and hymns of his childhood, as well as melodies by the greatest masters of European music (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner etc.), however, always creating original music from them. The pleasantly melodic piece concludes with unexpected and harsh dissonance.

Did you know? Still’s work premiere in New York on November 22, 1926 (conductor: Eugene Goossens), Adams’ Violin Concerto in Saint Paul on January 19, 1994 (soloist: Jorja Fleezanis, conductor: Edo de Waart), Ives’s symphony written between 1897 and 1902 premiered in New York on February 22, 1951 (conductor: Leonard Bernstein); the pieces have never been played by the Festival Orchestra before

Contemporary events The Russian writer Isaac Babel’s collection of short stories Red Cavalry was published in 1926 / on November 27, 1926 Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin premiered in Köln, but after the first performance it was taken off the program due to the scandal it caused / Max Scheler German philosopher published his work Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft in 1926 / after ten years of restoration Michelangelo’s fresco, The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel was opened to the public in 1994 / a referendum in 1994 confirmed Austria’s accession to the European Union / John Updike American writer published his novel Brazil in 1994 / on June 9, 1902 Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 premiered in Krefeld and was conducted by the author himself / Hugo von Hofmannstahl’s essay The Letter of Lord Chandos was published in 1902, in which he refuses the ideal of beauty alienated from life / Frank W. Benson American painter painted his painting Eleanor Holding a Shell in 1902.

ORCHESTRAL CONCERT: STILL, ADAMS, IVES JOSEFOWICZ, ROBERTSON

Program

WILLIAM GRANT STILL:
DARKER AMERICA

JOHN ADAMS:
VIOLIN CONCERTO

INTERVAL

CHARLES IVES:
SYMPHONY NO. 2

Featuring

CONDUCTOR

DAVID ROBERTSON

FEATURING

LEILA JOSEFOWICZ (violin)

About the event

A Concert from America – this could be the title of the program, as this time, the protagonists will be three iconic figures of American music writing, a conductor born in California and an American-Canadian violinist. The evening will start with a piece by William Grant Still, the “doyen of Afro-American composers” and an iconic figure of symphonic jazz, and continue with the Violin Concerto of John Adams, one of the greatest composers post-Steve Reich. We could hardly find more authentic performers for the latter than Leila Josefowicz. She collaborates in person with the composer and David Robertson, who made three recordings from Adams’s oeuvre as the musical director of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Following the concerto with an “endless melody”, the program will conclude with the king of musical references, the symphony of Charles Ives, displaying the most bizarre final chords in the history of music.

Although Gershwin is the first composer to come to mind when thinking of early 20th century American works combining jazz with symphonic music, several other artists of the era also produced significant milestones in the field. African-American William Grant Still successfully blended European composed music with genres of African roots and managed to draw the appreciation of the profession. Several of his compositions were inspired by the relationship between African Americans and society. In his symphonic poem entitled Darker America, the wavering theme introduced by the strings recalls the journey of his own people, and is then extended by the themes of “sorrow” (English horn) and “hope” (brass).

“Anyone who wants to become familiar with contemporary music should listen to this”, recommended Kristóf Csengery John Adams’s Violin Concerto composed in 1993. The composer had to overcome several obstacles before starting this piece. As he had no deep knowledge of the instrument, he needed the help of a violinist, which was provided by Jorja Fleezanis, who was also the soloist at the premiere. In addition, he thought a concerto needed some melody, while he had been writing music without melodies for years. Eventually, he could overcome this obstacle as well and completed the “hypermelodic” Violin Concerto. After the dreamlike rhapsody of the first movement, the violin hovers around the musical fabric of the orchestra like a ghost and then the concerto concludes with a virtuoso, almost motoric finale.

Ives composed his second symphony at the turn of the last century between his first, a European composition to the last note, and his third, an entirely American piece. The premiere half a century later was a huge success. However, the composer, who was listening to the concert on the radio, only silently spat when the ovation started. He was just like that: he didn’t care for success. In the five-movement composition Ives alludes to the simple American songs, marches and hymns of his childhood, as well as melodies by the greatest masters of European music (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner etc.), however, always creating original music from them. The pleasantly melodic piece concludes with unexpected and harsh dissonance.

Did you know? Still’s work premiere in New York on November 22, 1926 (conductor: Eugene Goossens), Adams’ Violin Concerto in Saint Paul on January 19, 1994 (soloist: Jorja Fleezanis, conductor: Edo de Waart), Ives’s symphony written between 1897 and 1902 premiered in New York on February 22, 1951 (conductor: Leonard Bernstein); the pieces have never been played by the Festival Orchestra before

Contemporary events The Russian writer Isaac Babel’s collection of short stories Red Cavalry was published in 1926 / on November 27, 1926 Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin premiered in Köln, but after the first performance it was taken off the program due to the scandal it caused / Max Scheler German philosopher published his work Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft in 1926 / after ten years of restoration Michelangelo’s fresco, The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel was opened to the public in 1994 / a referendum in 1994 confirmed Austria’s accession to the European Union / John Updike American writer published his novel Brazil in 1994 / on June 9, 1902 Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 premiered in Krefeld and was conducted by the author himself / Hugo von Hofmannstahl’s essay The Letter of Lord Chandos was published in 1902, in which he refuses the ideal of beauty alienated from life / Frank W. Benson American painter painted his painting Eleanor Holding a Shell in 1902.

ORCHESTRAL CONCERT: BRAHMS, TCHAIKOVSKY, DEBUSSY

Program

JOHANNES BRAHMS:
TRAGIC OVERTURE, OP. 81

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY:
VARIATIONS ON A ROCOCO THEME, OP. 33

INTERVAL

CLAUDE DEBUSSY:
IMAGES FOR ORCHESTRA

Featuring

CONDUCTOR

MICHEL TABACHNIK

FEATURING

DANIEL MÜLLER-SCHOTT (cello)

 

About the event

Michel Tabachnik returns to BFO with German, Russian and French music. Similarly to his last two concerts in Budapest, this program of the Swiss conductor, who used to work together with Herbert von Karajan, again includes Debussy. This time, it will be Images for Orchestra, a tribute to the Baroque suite genre and also inspired by the composer’s love of Spanish music. The first part of the concert will feature the more solemn and “tragic” of Brahms’s pair of concert overtures, and then Tchaikovsky’s composition of Mozartian elegance, which could also be called a cello concerto. The evening’s protagonist will be a cello from 1727 and German artist Müller-Schott described in a review in The New York Times as a “fearless player with technique to burn”.

“One cries, the other laughs”. This was how Brahms briefly summarized the essence of his two overtures composed in 1880. He felt that together with the Academic Festival Overture incorporating merry student songs, he must also write a more solemn piece. He was not struck by any personal tragedy at that period; this is not program music and no specific event is linked to its composition (though a Faust theme is speculated by some). Nevertheless, the contrasting piece is characterized by a genuine dramatic tone. The D-minor key conjuring up the character of Beethoven’s last symphony as well as Brahms’s own piano concerto, the solid orchestration, the prominence of the lower strings and the two heavy opening chords immediately create a melancholy atmosphere.

In the 19th century, composers and musicians created music in symbiosis. Soloists evaluated the work dedicated to them and recommended improvements, while in return, they made the piece a success. This was especially true in the case of Tchaikovsky, an admirer of Mozart, and his friend Wilhelm Fitzenhagen. The cellist felt so close to the composer’s Rococo Variations that he was involved in the creative process even more than usually: he changed the order of the variations and made deletions. This, however, did not affect the theme of the composition, the Mozartian grace of the variations or the extremely subtle orchestration.

Following Images, his two cycle pieces for piano, Debussy also composed three movements for orchestra entitled Images pour orchestre (Images for Orchestra). The movements were written with several years between them and reflect vastly different atmospheres. The Gigues composed between 1909 and 1912 has an English feel to it containing the tune of an English folk song entitled The Keel Row. The most famous part of the piece, Iberia, where a guitar and castanets are also used, itself has three movements: after the lively and uniquely pulsating “In the Streets and Byways”, come the “the intoxicating spell of Andalusian nights” entitled “The Fragrances of the Night”, which is followed by “The Morning of a Festival Day” depicting the town waking up. Images for Orchestra is closed by the nostalgic “Spring Rounds” built up from blocks of tone.

Did you know? Brahms’ Tragic Overture premiered in Vienna on December 26, 1880 (conductor: János Richter), Tchaikovsky’s piece Variations on a Rococo Theme in Moscow on November 30, 1877 (soloist: Wilhelm Fitzhagen, conductor: Nikolai Rubinstein), Debussy’s Images pour orchestre in Paris on January 16, 1913 (conducted by the author); the overture was last played by the Festival Orchestra in Antwerp on March 7, 2012 (conductor: Iván Fischer), Tchaikovsky’s pieces in Budapest on October 29, 2006 (soloist: Raphael Wallfisch, conductor: Dmitri Kitayenko), Debussy’s work in Budapest on February 28, 2004 (conductor: Sylvain Cambreling).

Contemporary events The novel Nana by the French writer Émile Zola was published in 1880 / Antonín Dvořák composed his Symphony No. 6 in D major in 1880 which premiered a year later / the French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted a portrait of Iréne Cahen in 1880 / János Arany began working on the poems of his poetic cycle Őszikék in his ‘buckled book’ in 1877 / on December 30, 1877 Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 (in D major) premiered in Vienna and was conducted by János Richter / Thomas Alva Edison American inventor presented the phonograph in 1877 which was the first device capable of recording and playing sound / the Treaty of London that put an end to the Balkan War was signed on May 30, 1913 / Ernst Ludwig Kirchner German painter painted his painting called Berlin Street Scene in 1913 / Edmund Husserl German philosopher published Ideas for a Pure Phenomenology in 1913.

ORCHESTRAL CONCERT: BRAHMS, TCHAIKOVSKY, DEBUSSY

Program

JOHANNES BRAHMS:
TRAGIC OVERTURE, OP. 81

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY:
VARIATIONS ON A ROCOCO THEME, OP. 33

INTERVAL

CLAUDE DEBUSSY:
IMAGES FOR ORCHESTRA

Featuring

CONDUCTOR

MICHEL TABACHNIK

FEATURING

DANIEL MÜLLER-SCHOTT (cello)

 

About the event

Michel Tabachnik returns to BFO with German, Russian and French music. Similarly to his last two concerts in Budapest, this program of the Swiss conductor, who used to work together with Herbert von Karajan, again includes Debussy. This time, it will be Images for Orchestra, a tribute to the Baroque suite genre and also inspired by the composer’s love of Spanish music. The first part of the concert will feature the more solemn and “tragic” of Brahms’s pair of concert overtures, and then Tchaikovsky’s composition of Mozartian elegance, which could also be called a cello concerto. The evening’s protagonist will be a cello from 1727 and German artist Müller-Schott described in a review in The New York Times as a “fearless player with technique to burn”.

“One cries, the other laughs”. This was how Brahms briefly summarized the essence of his two overtures composed in 1880. He felt that together with the Academic Festival Overture incorporating merry student songs, he must also write a more solemn piece. He was not struck by any personal tragedy at that period; this is not program music and no specific event is linked to its composition (though a Faust theme is speculated by some). Nevertheless, the contrasting piece is characterized by a genuine dramatic tone. The D-minor key conjuring up the character of Beethoven’s last symphony as well as Brahms’s own piano concerto, the solid orchestration, the prominence of the lower strings and the two heavy opening chords immediately create a melancholy atmosphere.

In the 19th century, composers and musicians created music in symbiosis. Soloists evaluated the work dedicated to them and recommended improvements, while in return, they made the piece a success. This was especially true in the case of Tchaikovsky, an admirer of Mozart, and his friend Wilhelm Fitzenhagen. The cellist felt so close to the composer’s Rococo Variations that he was involved in the creative process even more than usually: he changed the order of the variations and made deletions. This, however, did not affect the theme of the composition, the Mozartian grace of the variations or the extremely subtle orchestration.

Following Images, his two cycle pieces for piano, Debussy also composed three movements for orchestra entitled Images pour orchestre (Images for Orchestra). The movements were written with several years between them and reflect vastly different atmospheres. The Gigues composed between 1909 and 1912 has an English feel to it containing the tune of an English folk song entitled The Keel Row. The most famous part of the piece, Iberia, where a guitar and castanets are also used, itself has three movements: after the lively and uniquely pulsating “In the Streets and Byways”, come the “the intoxicating spell of Andalusian nights” entitled “The Fragrances of the Night”, which is followed by “The Morning of a Festival Day” depicting the town waking up. Images for Orchestra is closed by the nostalgic “Spring Rounds” built up from blocks of tone.

Did you know? Brahms’ Tragic Overture premiered in Vienna on December 26, 1880 (conductor: János Richter), Tchaikovsky’s piece Variations on a Rococo Theme in Moscow on November 30, 1877 (soloist: Wilhelm Fitzhagen, conductor: Nikolai Rubinstein), Debussy’s Images pour orchestre in Paris on January 16, 1913 (conducted by the author); the overture was last played by the Festival Orchestra in Antwerp on March 7, 2012 (conductor: Iván Fischer), Tchaikovsky’s pieces in Budapest on October 29, 2006 (soloist: Raphael Wallfisch, conductor: Dmitri Kitayenko), Debussy’s work in Budapest on February 28, 2004 (conductor: Sylvain Cambreling).

Contemporary events The novel Nana by the French writer Émile Zola was published in 1880 / Antonín Dvořák composed his Symphony No. 6 in D major in 1880 which premiered a year later / the French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted a portrait of Iréne Cahen in 1880 / János Arany began working on the poems of his poetic cycle Őszikék in his ‘buckled book’ in 1877 / on December 30, 1877 Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 (in D major) premiered in Vienna and was conducted by János Richter / Thomas Alva Edison American inventor presented the phonograph in 1877 which was the first device capable of recording and playing sound / the Treaty of London that put an end to the Balkan War was signed on May 30, 1913 / Ernst Ludwig Kirchner German painter painted his painting called Berlin Street Scene in 1913 / Edmund Husserl German philosopher published Ideas for a Pure Phenomenology in 1913.

Dés László concert, guests: Básti Juli & Mácsai Pál

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