Zoltán Kocsis deliberately and methodically set about presenting composers' complete oeuvres. In the course of interpreting the symphonic poems of Richard Strauss, he discovered the invaluable masterpieces that Strauss wrote as a composer of opera. This led to his embarking on the massive undertaking of mounting, one after the other and as joint productions between the Hungarian National Philharmonic and Müpa Budapest, fully staged performances of those of the German master's dramatic work...s that had never before been performed in Hungary or were played here only rarely. Consequently, Müpa Budapest's Béla Bartók National Concert Hall became the host of performances of Capriccio in 2011, Die schweigsame Frau in 2013, and Josephslegende in 2014. These were followed in the autumn of 2015 by two extraordinary works that the composer created in succession and intended to have performed together. They had first been premièred in tandem during a darkly troubled period: in 1938, at the Dresdner Semperoper.
This film is one of the final documents of the unmatched understanding and essential vision with which Kocsis approached both every creative work and worldly matters. Together with Csaba Némedi, he analyses the circumstances surrounding the genesis of the two works, as well as questions related to their content, plots and composition. Through their intermediation, in the two works - Friedenstag, the monumental choral opera evoking the final day of the Thirty Years' War as it asks moral and humanistic questions about armed conflict, and Daphne, the bucolic tragedy with a mythological theme in which the human world confronts the divine one - reveal their every interrelationship and meaning.
Kocsis intended for the Strauss series to continue with Guntram, Feuersnot, Intermezzo and Die ägyptische Helena, but fate would intervene in their realisation with the artist's death on 6 November 2016.
Condutor: Zoltán Kocsis
Reporter: Ádám Bősze
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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