Stravinsky's violin concerto occupies a special place in the violin literature. It was precisely because the composer was not terribly familiar with the instrument that he was able to create something totally new! Performing the work will be Norwegian violin virtuoso Vilde Frang. Just like the violin concerto, Enescu's two rhapsodies were written in Paris, the citadel of art. It is the first one of these, redolent of 'barnyard' drinking songs and dancing, that will open the concert. Concluding the concert will be Prokofiev's often misunderstood Symphony No. 5, which the composer declared had nothing to do with the war.
Following in the footsteps of Liszt and Dvořák, the Romanian composer George Enescu set about finding ways to develop the treasures of his nation's folk music for the concert stage. Although he later declared them 'errors of youth', the Romanian rhapsodies remain among his best known compositions. Improvisational and exotic in sound, these pieces are rhythmically vibrant.
Stravinsky's biographer considered the conclusion to the Violin Conclusion to be one of the most thrilling finalés the ...composer ever wrote. Also fascinating, however, are the iconic opening chords of the individual movements, which Vilde Frang plays with 'laser-like precision', as the critic from Bachtrack put it. Stravinsky titled the various movements with the names of Baroque genres in homage to Bach.
With the end of World War II in sight, the leaders of an increasingly confident Soviet Union instructed the country's artists to spread optimism. In an official statement, Prokofiev went on to declare that his Symphony No. 5 proclaimed 'the greatness of the human spirit'. Nevertheless, the piece is full of musical references that attest otherwise.
Presented by: Budapest Festival Orchestra
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