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66

Musicisti della Budapest Festival Orchestra

Contrasti

MusicAnimalia #2

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duration 60 minutes
Music

Synopsis

BFO musicians experiment with all possible combinations between the timbres of their instruments. The clarinet is the great protagonist of Béla Bartók's Contrasts, in trio with violin and piano. Violin and double bass, high and low, draw György Kurtág's miniature Flowers We Are and revel in the rhythmic inventions of Miniö op. 23 by Finnish composer Jaakko Kuusisto. Two violins hum in the Dance of Mosquitoes, again by Kurtág. Finally, Pyotr Il'ič Tchaikovsky's String Quartet in D major No. 1 unfolds all the ardor of its melodies.

Credits

Program

Musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra

Béla Bartók

Contrasts

violin István Kádár

clarinet Ákos Ács

piano Emese Mali

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György Kurtág

Virág az ember (for Miyako ) (Flowers we are)

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Jaakko Kuusisto

Miniö op. 23

violin Mária Gál-Tamási

double bass Zsolt Fejérvári

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Béla Bartók

Szúnyogtánc (Mosquito Dance)

from 44 duets for two violins, no. 22

violin Antónia Bodó

violin Noémi Molnár

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Pyotr Il'ič Tchaikovsky

String Quartet No. 1 in D major, op. 11

violin Antónia Bodó

violin Noémi Molnár

viola Csaba Gálfi

cello Gabriella Liptai

Hall Program

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to Framing the second date, June 25, are two compositions of absolute music. At the beginning Béla Bartók's Contrasts, at the end Pyotr Il'ič Tchaikovsky's Quartet Op. 11. Many and jarring are the Bartókian "contrasts." Right from the combination of three instruments that do not intend to harmonize. Rather they exacerbate each other's differences in timbre and physiognomy, seeking above all harshness, acidity, contradictions. The disagreements between them also affect the rhythmic aspect, carved with that dryness that came to Bartók from constantly feeding on Eastern European folklore. Nor today can one avoid perceiving in such a musical texture of spines and wrinkles, in his neurotic writing, a reflection of the political and moral savagery that was leading the world toward war. to commissioned this three-panel trio from him in 1938 by clarinetist Benny Goodman, then the leading exponent of white jazz, and violinist Joseph Szigeti. Two virtuosos - who left a recording of Contrasts with the composer at the piano - whose instrumental qualities Bartók wanted to emphasize, reserving to each a bravura cadence in the extreme movements: to the clarinet in the first ("Verbunkos," modeled on the traditional Hungarian dance of the same name through which boys were enticed to enlist in the Hapsburg army), to the violin in the last ("Sebes," meaning "fast"). And then there is the second movement, "Pihenő," "rest," in which the melodic lines of the three instruments mirror each other with geometric zeal.

Regarding to Tchaikovsky, his Quartet Op. 11 is theopera of a 30-year-old who is gradually setting out on the road to a more conscious, mature creativity. In 1871, the year of the score, he was working as a teacher at the Conservatory of San Pietroburgo, poorly paid. To supplement his income he decided to organize an evening of his own music, during which the Quartet was played for the first time. In the audience was a literary godfather, Ivan Turgenev. Model for Tchaikovsky is the classical string quartet structure. Each movement unfolds without any headshots, temperate, sensible. The adjective speaks for itself. The first movement, over which the Beethovenian spirit hovers but dipped in Tchaikovskian spleen, is referred to as "Moderato e simplice," and this "simplicity" lies in the mostly placid pace of the four strings, whose melodies happen to ripple in ascending and descending scales. The third is "Allegro non tanto e con fuoco," which means that one should not rush into it but still serve to sculpt the rhythmic figures with incisiveness (the "fire," indeed). Also measured is the fourth, "Allegro giusto." On the second, "Andante cantabile," it deserves to dwell a bit. It is the emotional heart ofopera: nostalgic lyricism inspired to a Russian folk song heard from Tchaikovsky during a vacation in the countryside around to Kamenka. The transcription for cello and orchestra happened once to be heard by Lev Tolstoy, who was moved to tears by it.    

Between Contrasts and Tchaikovsky, three miniatures. The first a sliver of poetry that lines the air. Delicate. Laconic. Subtle. Entitled Flowers We Are (for Miyako), one of hundreds of aphorisms collected by Hungarian György Kurtág in Játékok, "Games," an educational work in progress that is growing from half a century. Originally, the cycle was intended to initiate children in the exploration of the piano with absolute freedom of research, handling its keys, strings, and sonorities without the interference of a teacher. Gradually, however, this original method for keyboard (certain pages of which are also transposed to other instruments) has turned into a diary of the composer who, with the conciseness that always characterizes him, has fixed in it his inner world, biographical experiences, portraits of friends.

Miniö by Finnish Jaakko Kuusisto (violinist and conductor, as well as composer of symphonic and film music) follows. This is a minimalist bagatelle, according to what the title itself declares, suspended in time and space, disinterested to give form to some melody. Rather, it prefers to work on the reiteration of rhythmic cells that slowly change appearance and with equal phlegm transcolor from one harmony to another.

Then here is Bartók again, which for a few seconds makes annoying insects buzz. The Mosquito Dance is one of forty-four Duets for pair of violins conceived in the early 1930s as exercises of progressive difficulty to student use. This is to half of the collection, aimed at to middle-level instrumentalists. Equally as in Contrasts Hungarian peasant music is poured into it, although the violin-musicians whirling in the air imitating to each other also seem quite indebted to Bach's contrapuntal technique.

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Dates & Tickets

TICKETING INFO
Sun
25
Jun
2023
at
12:00
Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
at
Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
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Chiesa di Sant'Agata
Event Times
June 28
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
June 29
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
June 30
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
01 July
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:15
14:15
15:30
16:30
17:45
20:30
21:30
02 July
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:15
14:15
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
21:45
04 July
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
05 July
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
06 July
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
07 July
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
08 July
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
15:15
16:30
17:30
18:30
20:45
21:45
09 July
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:15
17:30
18:30
19:45
20:45
21:45

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Biographies

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Iván Fischer realized his dream when he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983 together to Zoltán Kocsis. Thanks to its innovative approach to music and the unstinting dedication of its musicians, the BFO has become the youngest ensemble to enter the top ten symphony orchestras in the world. In addition to to Budapest, the orchestra regularly performs at some of the most important concert venues on the international music scene and is also featured on international streaming platforms. Since its inception, the BFO has been awarded from "Gramophone," the prestigious British music magazine, three times: in 1998 and 2007, the magazine's jury awarded the BFO the prize for the best recording, while in 2022, thanks to public votes, it was named Orchestra of the Year. The BFO's most important achievements are related to Mahler: the recording of Symphony No. 1 was nominated for a Grammy Award. In addition to its recording successes and acclaimed tours, the BFO has also become known to internationally through a series of particularly original concerts. The Autism-friendly Cocoa Concerts, Surprise Concerts - also appreciated at the London Proms -, music marathons, youth-oriented Midnight Music performances, outdoor concerts to Budapest, free Community Weeks, and the Bridging Europe Festival, organized in cooperation with Müpa Budapest - are all unique events to their own way. Another unique feature of the Orchestra is that its members regularly sing during concerts. Each year the BFO, in cooperation with the Iván Fischer Opera Company, Müpa Budapest, the Vicenza Opera Festival and Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, stages an opera production. Performances have been invited to New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie; in 2013, The Marriage of Figaro topped New York Magazine's ranking of the year's best classical music events. The Vicenza Opera Festival, founded from Iván Fischer, debuted in fall 2018 at the Teatro Olimpico.

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