When
Friday, 6 December 2019
From 19:30until approximately 9.35 pm
Where
Franz Liszt Academy of Music,
Budapest
Tickets
HUF 5,500 / 4,500 / 4,000 / 3,500
Buy ticket


Fauns and Ghosts

Ferencsik season ticket 2

Claude Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 22
***
Edward Elgar Symphony No. 2 in E-flat major, op. 63
Louis Schwizgebel piano
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Mischa Damev conductor

It is summertime, and the heat is blistering, but it is cool in the shade. Our hero is resting under the foliage, dreaming about graceful nymphs and spending an afternoon happily doing nothing. In our bustling and jittery world, we can only envy Mallarmé’s protagonist, the goat-legged faun. Debussy wrote this ten-minute orchestral prélude to the French master’s poem, employing unmatched colours and sensual harmonies. Hearing it in wintertime brings solace. A caustic critic thought to describe the next piece in the programme, the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Camille Saint-Saëns, as “starting out as Bach and ending as Offenbach.” To which one hastens to add that the work’s middle section (the second movement), is a carnival of the animals. Even if the motifs and themes do not evoke the composer’s most popular work – whose movements include an elephant, a kangaroo and so many hoofed beasts, not to forget that true zoological phenomenon: the pianist – its atmosphere indisputably does.

The French works will be followed by an English one. Passepartout followed by Phileas Fogg, so to speak. Sir Edward Elgar modelled himself on the English gentleman of the old school. He was polite, measured and slightly chilly. His Symphony No. 2, however, reveals a character similar to Jules Verne’s protagonist. The self-discipline sometimes conceals passion and romantic feelings.