Csongor and Tünde suit

In 1913 the Hungarian National Theatre encharged the twenty-eight year old Leo Weiner with the compositon of an incidental music for Mihály Vörösmarty’s dramatic poem: Csongor and Tünde. However the highly elaborated composition and symphonic orchestration surpassed the performing capacity of a dramatic theatre, hence the work was premiered only three years later at the Budapest Opera. Following the great success the composer has chosen six movements among the most beautiful symphonic parts of his incidental music, consisting of 23 movements, and made them suitable for concert performance. The orchestral suite was performed  for the first time at the beginning of 1916 in Dresden under the baton of Fritz Reiner, followed by the Budapest premiere in the same year on 4th of February conducted by István Kerner. Actually the order of the six movements was no longer influenced by the theatrical plot but by the dramaturgy of the music. Leó Weiner’s legendary bump for proportion and balance reveals itself by the symmetric structure of the work: the extreme movements are freely composed impressions of mood, while the pastorale-like fourth movement written in sonata-form is framed by dances of different characters.