Liszt: The Legend of St. Elizabeth
From the autumn of 1861, Liszt spent more and more time in Rome, where his interest turned towards church music. In 1862 he completed his first oratorio, The Legend of St. Elizabeth. Liszt already took a strong interest in the life of the Hungarian princess and Bavarian duchess during his Weimar years, and even visited her former home, the castle of Wartburg, in the company of the Grand Duke of Weimar. The Hungarian National Philharmonic will be conducted by their music director, Zsolt Hamar. The title role of the oratorio will be sung by Brigitta Kele, who made her debut at Cluj-Napoca's Romanian National Opera, regularly performs in Düsseldorf, Paris, Avignon, and Strasbourg, and was featured in the last season in the New York Metropolitan's production of La bohème. Albert Pesendorfer is one of today's most sought-after Wagner singers, who regularly performs King Marke, Hans Sachs, Hagen and Gurnemanz. Louis will be sung by the acclaimed Austrian baritone, Markus Werba. As an operatic, concert, and lied singer, he has already performed at Milan's La Scala, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the Bavarian State Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Opéra National de Lyon, the Parisian Châtelet Theatre, and the New York Metropolitan Opera.
The Musical Universe of José Cura
This concert gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the full musical universe of José Cura - while listening to his three most significant oratorical works. While he himself conducts the Modus and Magnificat, he sings the part of Christ in Ecce homo. At this concert held to honour the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Salva Vita Foundation, Cura shares the stage with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Choir and Children's Choir, four outstanding vocal soloists in the shape of Zita Váradi, Krisztina Simon, István Horváth and Marcell Bakonyi - and, conducting Ecce homo, Mario De Rosé. Cura wrote Ecce homo in 1989 after taking part as a member of the chorus in a performance of the St Matthew Passion. "I was literally in shock, stunned. I later conducted this work myself and Bach settled deep in my head. I decided to pass on a Biblical story of my own but I shifted to a more dramatic composition in a harsher world. After all, two thousand years ago Christ was considered a criminal.” "I was 25 years old when the Pope declared the Marian Year. My wife happened to be expecting for the third time. It occurred to me that Mary was still a teenager when she gave birth, and this whole story must certainly have been shocking for her.” The Magnificat begins with Mary sitting alone in the desert. Cura's message can be summarised by saying that, as long as a person is alone, they can achieve nothing. Collaboration is needed in order to accomplish anything. The world première of the Modus was in Prague, and the work was inspired by the Czech capital, or more precisely by mediaeval Prague. In this ten-minute piece, orchestrated by Cura himself, he summarises the inspirational impressions he has drawn from the city.
- Sold out
Eighty-year-old Dona Onete, the grande dame of the songs of the Amazon, is more than simply a Brazilian icon: she is one of the biggest sensations in contemporary world music. It was a childhood experience that inspired her to become a singer: she was washing clothes in the Amazon when she noticed a river dolphin, which she enticed to come closer with her singing. When she went to the riverbank the following day, two dolphins came to listen to her. By the third day, it was a whole group. By the age of 15, she was already singing at local bars, but when she got married, her husband refused to hear anything about her songs. A later job opportunity allowed her to keep music in her life: when teaching the traditions of Amazonian Indians and African slaves, she was able to sing when a demonstration was required. As fate would have it, she was later remarried and recently retired when her desire to sing resurfaced. This time with the encouragement of her new husband, she developed productive relationships with local musicians as a member of her town's cultural committee. On one occasion when they performed before the famous Naná Vasconcelos, they were such a success that a producer offered Dona a contract. This is how she came to record her first album (Feitiço Caboclo) at the age of 73, becoming an instant hit at festivals. Her second album, Banzeiro, was released in 2017 and made it to the top of the European world music radio charts. The record's title refers to the crashing waves that ships make on the Amazon: powerful, irresistible and ever-shifting. One song is from the world of carimbos, another from that of the samba, but there's no lack of cumbias or boleros, either. All are matters of the heart, so to speak, but the body also gets its share: from the smells of the fish market to the taste of the wildest kisses - it is full of gripping rhythm, life and inventiveness.