Ferencsik season ticket 1
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, op. 73
Zoltán Kodály: The Peacock – variations on a Hungarian folk song
Zoltán Kodály: Te Deum of Buda Castle
Ikuyo Nakamichi piano
Kinga Kriszta soprano
Viktória Mester alto
Attila Fekete tenor
Michele Kalmandy baritone
Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: János Kovács
What do Beethoven and Kodály have in common? The spontaneous response: both of them were supposedly born on December 16th. Supposedly, because Kodály really did come into the world on that day in 1882, while we only know Beethoven was baptised on 17 December 1770. More importantly, both of them centred their artistic output around a moral stance. It is also to be noted that they were also both among the great masters in music history when it came to crafting variations. And we’ll be hearing variations at this concert too – a piece by Kodály bookended by a Beethoven piano concerto and a liturgical work. Partnering with the excellent Japanese pianist and the cast of leading Hungarian singers will be a top Hungarian conductor.
Dating from 1809, the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major is Beethoven’s final and grandest such work, with a general atmosphere defined by a sense of dignity and splendour. Kodály’s richly colourful series of variations The Peacock was commissioned by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1939: in this work written specifically to be performed abroad, the composer wished to show how the ancient pentatonic melodies of Hungarian folk music could also naturally fit into the framework of a Western-type set of variations. The Te Deum of Buda Castle, from 1936, is one of the most beautiful documents of Kodály’s sincere and deeply held religious faith as a Roman Catholic.
Born in 1963, Ikuyo Nakamichi is a world-renowned concert pianist, a grand prize winner at the 1986 Geneva International Music Competition, and a returning guest with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. Kinga Kriszta, Viktória Mester, István Horváth and Michele Kalmandy are all versatile singers equally at home with both opera and the oratorical repertoire. János Kovács is one of Hungary’s most knowledgeable and experienced conductors, and also has significant success abroad to his name.