The anniversary of the death of Zoltán Kocsis, who passed away on 6 November 2016, will be marked once again this year by the ensembles that he once led. All of the pieces in the programme have some kind of connection, in terms of either genre or the thinking behind them, to the late pianist, conductor and composer.
Ravel's series Le Tombeau de Couperin is a fitting work in part because it is a remembrance of the composer's deceased friends and also in part because, as a piano work scored for orchestra by the great artist himself, it shows us Kocsis the composer and conductor, who was passionate about arranging songs and piano pieces by his favourite great composers. It seems symbolic that this work is being performed under the baton of a representative, in the person of the American-Hungarian Kornél Thomas..., of the new generation of conductors following in Kocsis's footsteps. Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor is a memorial to Kocsis the pianist, who had been amazed by the soloist performing the composition, Tamás Érdi and left open the possibility of working together - specifically to perform this Chopin piano concerto.
Also of symbolic significance is the fact that Zsolt Hamar, the ensemble's music director, will take the podium to conduct the Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Hungarian National Choir and four superb soloists - Klára Kolonits, Kornélia Bakos, István Horváth and István Kovács - in the world première of a new work by a contemporary Hungarian composer. Born in 1969, Zoltán Kovács is a member of the middle generation who plays bassoon in the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra in addition to his creative activities. This work expressing the pain of the Virgin Mary as she shares in the suffering of the Saviour is integrally connected to the thinking surrounding this day of remembrance.
Presented by: Hungarian National Philharmonic
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