WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Idomeneo – overture, K. 366
JOSEPH HAYDN: Symphony No. 70 in D major, Hob. I:70
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major, K. 364
MICHAEL HAYDN: Symphony No. 26 in E-flat major, MH 340
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K. 543
Barnabás Kelemen violin
Katalin Kokas viola
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: György Vashegyi
The Viennese Classical repertoire presented in the Ferencsik season ticket concerts is something of a musical ‘diet menu’, as the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra plays these works by Haydn and Mozart with a slimmer set of instrumentalists than the usual symphonic forces, which results in more agile playing and a more transparent sound. Each of the four concerts ends with one of Mozart’s late symphonies. The conductor for the concert opening the series, György Vashegyi, is a pivotal figure in the development of historically informed music performance in Hungary, while the two soloists, Barnabás Kelemen and Katalin Kokas, are celebrated both as artists and personalities in the world of Hungarian string players.
The first concert in the subscription not only gives Joseph Haydn the chance to speak to us, it also opens the floor to the composer’s brother, Michael, who was five years his junior and likewise considered an excellent composer. Like Mozart, he too served in Salzburg, and Mozart held him in high esteem and considered certain works of his to be models for his own. One such precursor was the first movement of the Michael Haydn symphony being performed on this evening, foreshadowing in the same key the opening movement of Mozart’s late ‘Great’ Symphony in E-flat Major. Also in E-flat major is one of the gems of Mozart’s oeuvre, the breathtakingly beautiful Sinfonia concertante, which employs a violin and a viola as solo instruments. The programme kicks off with two other pieces: the overture to Mozart’s opera Idomeneo and Haydn’s Symphony No. 70 in D major, which was premiered in Eszterháza in December 1779. Over the past three decades, György Vashegyi has accumulated enormous experience in conducting the orchestral, oratorical and operatic works of Haydn and Mozart, and the incredibly diverse activities of Barnabás Kelemen and Katalin Kokas as both soloists and chamber musicians cover almost all periods of the music literature, from the Baroque to the 21st century.
The four concerts of the Ferencsik season ticket invite you to enter the musical Garden of Eden made up of masterpieces of the Viennese Classical style. The music of Mozart, Haydn and Michael Haydn promises ethereal sounds. Each concert will close with a late Mozart symphony: his three final works in the genre and the ‘Prague’ symphony. While each programme features a Haydn symphony as well, we will also hear both overtures and concert arias, with Barnabás Kelemen and Katalin Kokas performing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for violin and viola, and Petra Somlai taking on the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major (K. 467). The fortepiano refers to the pursuit of authenticity – which is also indicated by the fact that the works will be performed by ensembles smaller than a full symphonic orchestra. Two programmes will be conducted by chief music director György Vashegyi, and one by the Swiss musician Stephan MacLeod, who will also sing while conducting two concert arias, as he is an excellent bass. On the third night, we will get the chance to welcome an old friend of the orchestra, the French conductor and oboe virtuoso François Leleux, this time interpreting Haydn’s C-major concerto for the instrument.