Tonight, our audience is kindly invited on a journey. During the pandemic, many people have not had the chance to travel to their favourite places or explore new landscapes to recharge their batteries. That is why BDO’s conductor, Gábor Werner has chosen for this evening a programme of works that in some way evoke the atmosphere of distant landscapes or the wonderful experience of travelling itself.
First, we will hear the 4th movement of Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3. Schubert is considered the last master of the Viennese Classical period and one of the first composers of Romanticism. Despite his short life, his oeuvre left behind is very rich, and the piece we are listening to tonight was basically written in the space of only 10 days. The complete work was never performed during his lifetime, and the full symphony was not premièred until 1881. Previously, in 1860, the fourth movement was performed in Vienna, and it is this movement that will be heard at today’s concert, too. It is a joyful finale to the Symphony No. 3 that, with its serene mood and its style is reminiscent of Rossini’s tarantella rhythms, evoking the sunny landscapes of Sicily in the listeners’ minds.
The next piece to accompany us on our journey to the different cities or landscapes around the world is Péter Wolf’s violin concerto. The composer wrote this work at the request of Kristóf Baráti and the Budapest Strings Chamber Orchestra, and later composed a complete symphonic orchestral version in six movements, in which six landscapes or cities are visited through music.
The cheerful journey begins with a dance in the first movement, named after the French port city of Le Havre, which captures the excitement of setting off and setting sail. The next stop takes us to the Latin, Spanish landscapes of Andalusia, and from there we fly to Liverpool, the city of the Beatles. Our journey here takes a sudden turn towards Jerusalem, with its wealth of history and culture, in the hope of finding peace, then we visit the countryside of Bihar (a county in Northwestern Romania, with significant Hungarian population and history – the tr.), and especially the people who live there, before our final stop in Dublin, where we sit in a pub and enjoy Irish music and Irish pub grub.
After Péter Wolf’s far-reaching journey, the next stop is the Spanish countryside, with its Latin atmosphere, delivered to us by Hugo Wolf’s Der Corregidor Suite. Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer who lived in the second half of the 1800s and was known mainly for his songs. In 1895, he wrote a comic opera entitled Der Corregidor, with a libretto based on Pedro Antonio de Alarcón y Ariza’s story, The Triangular Hat. Tonight, BDO will perform the suite version. The story features some real Mediterranean complications: a miller who thinks his wife is having an affair with the village magistrate causes a commotion. All this is set against the backdrop of the Andalusian countryside and the everyday life of Andalusian villages.
Finally we return to Italy, and with Tchaikovsky’s Italian Capriccio we can once again enjoy the soul-warming experience of sunny landscapes, listen to emotional serenades, street mandolin music, and dance the tarantella again, while enjoying the catchy motifs of Italian songs.
We invite our audience to come and enjoy this journey, sit back with your eyes closed and smell the sea, the sunshine and enjoy the wonderful world of new and perhaps unknown landscapes