In the 1940s, András Mihály and his string quartet considered their chief task to be introducing audiences to the music of Bartók and the Viennese School. He served as the Hungarian State Opera’s principal cellist from 1946 until 1948. It was with this musical background and sure-footed understanding of the instrument that he wrote his three- movement Cello Concerto, the signature piece of his oeuvre in 1953, for which he received the Kossuth Prize in 1955. Next to the tempo markings for the movements, the composer also indicates their genre: Poem, Ballad, Capriccio. The soloist for the evening, the all-knowing master of the instrument Miklós Perényi, already recorded the work when he was 24 years old.
Robert Schumann wrote his Symphony No. 2 in 1845/46, during a time of crisis in his life. Its contrapuntal structure can be explained by his understanding of the music of his great predecessor Bach, which he was studying around this period. The first movement is built around dotted rhythm and a rising main theme. Wedged into the playfully starting perpetuum mobile-like second movement are two trios. The movement ends with the demonic transformation of the introductory material. The third movement is one of the most shocking lyrical confessions in the Romantic symphonic literature. The work concludes with a fourth movement that is cheerful in tone.