This concert by the Hungarian Radio Music Ensembles paints a representative picture of the oeuvre of Zoltán Kodály with performances of the youthful Summer Evening, works from the middle of his career in the form of Psalmus Hungaricus and Te Deum of Buda Castle, along with the Symphony, which dates from his late creative period and is undeservedly played only rarely in concert halls.
Most of these works of Kodály's being played at the concert are intimately connected to one of the greatest... conductors of the 20th century: Arturo Toscanini. With the genesis of the Symphony, Kodály recalled the great Italian: "Toscanini once asked me why I cannot, or do not wish to, take on the challenge of a symphony. We got into a debate, with me saying that the genre was outdated, and him responding that the symphonic genre could never go out of date if it was being filled with new and original material.”
When Toscanini conducted Psalmus Hungaricus in Milan, he asked Kodály to write an orchestral piece. While the composer did not create a new work for him, he did retrieve one of his youthful pieces dating from his Music Academy days: Summer Evening. Looking it over, he made some minor changes to it. "Sometimes, when we examine our own work, we see its errors and weaknesses clearer than everyone else. We feel that it could be better, and that we should do it over. If I was now able to fix the mistakes I made when I was half the age I am now, then I have a great master to thank. And his, Toscanini's, example and summons to work aroused in me, once again, that feeling of responsibility and eternal dissatisfaction that makes one want to start everything over.”
Presented by: Hungarian Radio Music Ensembles
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Refreshments – Without the Queue
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