Non-season ticket concert
GIUSEPPE VERDI: Requiem
Klára Kolonits soprano
Ildikó Komlósi alto
Mario Bahg tenor
Kolos Kováts bass
Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: György Vashegyi
Every orchestra devotedly cherishes the memory of those individuals who played the most significant roles in their history. Zoltán Kocsis indelibly inscribed his name in the chronicles of the Hungarian National Philharmonic: during his two decades as chief music director, both the orchestra and the choir achieved a higher standard than they ever had before, gaining a new level of respect internationally. Each year on the anniversary of his death, we commemorate the conductor with a concert, with this year’s event featuring Verdi’s poignant Requiem.
When Giuseppe Verdi learned of Rossini’s death in 1868, he made a proposal to twelve of his fellow composers: to jointly create a requiem in memory of their great colleague. He himself wrote the Libera me movement, but in the end, this collective work could not be performed. A few years later, in 1873, there occurred another major loss: the death of the great Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni prompted Verdi to write the Requiem by developing his own existing movement into a complete work. Following its premiere in Milan’s San Marco church in 1874, the opus gradually gained cult status within the concert repertoire, and today shares with Mozart’s Requiem its stature as one of the two most popular works in the genre. Those who condemn the work for its operatic expressiveness are, by the same token, also referring to its greatest virtue: its drama and visual power. Conductor György Vashegyi can claim vast experience presenting oratorical works, while the Korean tenor Mario Bahg, performing in the company of three highly cultured and versatile Hungarian singers – Klára Kolonits (soprano), Ildikó Komlósi (alto) and Kolos Kováts (bass) – won the grand prize at the Concours Musical International De Montréal in 2018 and won the hearts of the audience at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2019.