István Dénes, conductor, composer and pianist, has put together a special programme for tonight’s concert of Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra. Among the works to be performed this evening there will be several special numbers: first of all, a transcription of Beethoven’s Overture to King Stephen by István Dénes, which he has adapted to the technical level of a modern orchestra as regards the orchestration and bells. Then comes Liszt‘s Dante Sonata, originally written for piano, also in an orchestral transcription by István Dénes, which he wrote for the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante, the poet of the Divine Comedy. The second half of the evening will feature a contemporary work written for violin, piano or orchestral accompaniment by Chinese composer Chen Gang (1935-). After conducting it in China, István Dénes is now bringing this work to be performed in Hungary. The concert will conclude with a composition by István Dénes to be heard by the audience for the first time. In the work entitled Himnikus szózatok (“Hymnic Anthems”), both Ferenc Erkel’s and Béni Egressy’s “Szózat” will be performed woven together into a single piece by the author.
“Szózat” or anthem/hymn is an emblematic 19th century literary genre expressing (and meant to evoke) patriotic feelings. The above composers both set Mihály Vörösmarty’s poem of the same title to music answering a call of the National Theatre in 1843. Egressy’s version won the competition and since then it has become the “second national anthem” of Hungary, while Erkel’s rendering is much less known today. (- the tr.)