The first Budafok concert night of the 2023-24 season will start with Kaiser Walzer (Emperor Waltz) by Johann Strauss II. The work was inspired by Franz Joseph I’s visit to Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in 1889. The work is a sort of tribute to this meeting. The title – ‘Emperor Waltz’ – was given by Strauss’s publisher, Fritz Simrock, referring to the two empires involved and to please the two emperors.
The second work of the evening is Bartók’s Two Portraits. He wrote this piece for orchestra and solo violin in 1907-1908. The title suggests that the work depicts two different psychological moments of the same person: the ideal and the distorted. The same motif appears in both portraits, just in different characters. While in the “Ideal” the portrait is represented by the solo violin, in the “Distorted” the portrait unfolds from the melodic fragments of the orchestra. The work was inspired by violinist Stefi Geyer and Bartók’s unfulfilled love for her.
The final piece of the evening is a work by composer, pianist and violinist Dóra Pejácsevich. The composer was born in Budapest in 1885 to a Hungarian mother and a Croatian father. Her mother was also a pianist, so she got immersed in music at an early age. Despite her short life, she left behind a rich oeuvre of 106 works, mostly in the late Romantic style, including songs, piano pieces, chamber works and orchestral works. The Symphony in F-sharp minor, to be performed this evening, was the one that elevated her to the ranks of the most important Croatian composers.
The first concert of the Budafok Concert Nights series features Croatian conductor Mladen Tarbuk at the helm of Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra. He has visited Hungary many times and regularly conducts works by Hungarian composers. In addition to his conducting activity, he is also a composer, having written some ninety works of music.