This concert programme is composed solely of Russian music. Modest Mussorgsky completed his work Night on Bald Mountain in 1867, but then shoved it into a drawer after it failed to win the favour of his friend and patron Mily Balakirev in its original form. It took Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to score a revision of this musical Witches' Sabbath for the piece to become widely known, and this is the version that is still played most frequently in concert halls today.
Prokofiev's Piano Concerto N...o. 2 had an even more adventurous fate, as the score for this 1913 work was destroyed amidst the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, forcing the composer to reconstruct the composition from memory in 1923. 'The cats yowling on the roof make better music,” was one of the opinions voiced of the 1913 world première, but it is now more a sense of wonder that surrounds this incredibly difficult concerto, for which French pianist Lucas Debargue, born in 1990, will serve as the soloist.
The second half of the concert will feature a performance of one of the most enigmatic compositions of the 20th century. Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 was written in 1937, shortly after his opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, was deemed by official Soviet cultural policy to be an undesirable work. Some believed that with Symphony No. 5, Shostakovich had stepped down the rocky road of 'Socialist realist music' - and indeed the piece did win the approval of Stalinist critics. At the same time, others point to the composition's nuanced and brutally accurate irony, signalling that Shostakovich's works - despite appearances to the contrary - had never been in service of the system. Regardless of whether we accept either argument, or if we believe it is possible for symphonic music to contain political messages at all, there can be no debate about the fact that Symphony No. 5 is one of the most exciting orchestral compositions of the 20th century.
Presented by: Concerto Budapest
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Refreshments – Without the Queue
Thanks to our new catering service at the Átrium Snack Bar, you can forget about waiting in line during intermissions for some refreshments and get your order prepped especially for you by the time the intermission actually starts. Find out more about pre-ordering here.
Safe ticket purchase
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