Double bass concerto? 'That has to be like watching an elephant dance ballet!' This is what some people think when someone mentions virtuosity and grace in connection to the lowest-pitched of the stringed instruments. But they're wrong! They should just hear the playing Ödön Rácz, a highly esteemed Hungarian member of the Vienna Philharmonic who, in addition to his work with the orchestra, also performs concerts all over Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. Then they would see how the double bass is capable of accommodating nimble runs and how it can sing and - in the hands of an authentic virtuoso - even scintillate.
Rácz and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra are old acquaintances: the bassist was only 12 years old when he first took the stage with the ensemble. Together with a storied international record label, they recently recorded a joint album that includes, along with works by Nino Rota and Astor Piazzolla, a composition by the Romantic musician Giovanni Bottesini, known as the 'Paganini of the double bass'. Rácz will now again be playing music by this great Italian intimate of the soul of the instrum...ent, this time his concerto for double bass in B minor, in which all of his virtues as an instrumentalist will sparkle, from the nimble runs and figurations to the melting tone and lyrically singing melodies. The chamber orchestra will bookend this soloistic achievement with two immortal masterpieces. Listening to their animated playing, one can easily start to ponder how the divertimento, as a genre, conveyed a much different meaning in the 18th century, when Mozart composed his popular D major piece (K.136) buzzing with joie de vivre than it did in the 20th, when Bartók - in the ominous summer of 1939 - wrote his famous Divertimento, with light and graceful melodies studded with marked accents in the opening movement, an energetic finale with a folk dance character and - in the pensive slow movement between the two - with grave and dramatic philosophical depth. Mozart, Bottesini and Bartók - three diverging faces of music at a single concert that promises to be an extraordinary one.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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