Thursday, 10 December 2020
From 7:30 pmuntil approximately 9:45 pm
Müpa – Béla Bartók National Concert Hall,
HUF 5,500 / 4,500 / 4,000 / 3,500 / 2,500
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Kobayashi season ticket 1

Arnold Schönberg Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 16
Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, op. 30
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98
Olga Kern piano
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Donato Renzetti conductor

Is it a measure of the worth of a piece of music to be modern, or to have been considered so back in its own time? For a long time, popular opinion said it was indeed. In “better circles”, it was normal to give preference to innovative composers and condemn those who were “behind the times”. Nowadays we see things differently, looking primarily at the richness of the work’s message, the quality of its artistic elaboration, and on its poetry and evocativeness. This concert presents three works that will help the audience ponder precisely these questions of modernity and traditionalism.

Born in Moscow 45 years ago and now based in the United States, Olga Kern is one of the most successful and virtuosic pianists of our time, one who over the course of her career so far has shown intense interest in the Russian repertoire, which is perhaps a good reason for the fact that we’ll be hearing her play Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the most popular – and at the same time, most difficult – concert works ever written for her instrument. This composition, typically late Romantic in its melodic and harmonic worlds, was written in 1909, as was Five Orchestral Pieces by Arnold Schönberg, who was born in 1874, making him a year younger than Rachmaninov. It is a ground-breaking and modern composition that brought new colours and means of expression to the world of music. The two composers therefore interpreted their calling differently: Rachmaninov spent his entire life in a relationship with tradition, while Schönberg believed in change and developing new techniques and even an entirely new method of composing music. Now we will get to hear and marvel at the music of both composers. In spite of the fact that many people consider Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, with its passacaglia in the fourth movement built on a Baroque pattern, as “conservative”, Schönberg proved, in a great study published on the centenary of Brahms’s birth, that he was nevertheless a forward-looking composer.