The concert can be watched on BDO’s YouTube channel free of charge!

The special twist to our concert is that the audience will be entertained not only by master violinist Barnabás Kelemen’s virtuosic play, but witness a demonstration of his conducting talent as well.

To open the concert, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture will be played, a piece inspired by the overwhelming experience of the composer upon visiting the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. In 1832 he writes in a letter: “Die Hebriden…I can’t release here, because I still regard it as unfinished… The middle part in D major marked forte is rather ridiculous, and the so-called working out smells more of counterpoint than of train-oil and seagulls and salted cod – it  should be just the other way round.” Mendelssohn’s intention was to hide his “learning” as a student raised on the music of Bach and Mozart in terms of structure, and to showcase the depiction of the scenery and the atmosphere instead.

After this the moment will come for our conductor to grab his violin and take the lead in performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. The work is from the last creative period of the composer. However, the glistening surface, the almost protest-like simple thematic and the “Midsummer Night-ish” mood of the finale is somewhat misleading: in this work of his, Mendelssohn opened the way to a number of formal innovations that may have been quite surprising to his audience – unlike the unsuspecting crowds today for whom it is “the violin concerto”, an ever valid point of reference in music.

To close our online concert we will be playing Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. This is one of the few works by Schubert the première of which has been documented with very certain data: it was first performed in 1816 – the year it was written – by an amateur orchestra. Schubert’s earlier symphonies followed in the footsteps of Haydn in terms of technical solutions and – at least as regards the intention – Beethoven in terms of forms of expression. This time, however, the composer set out on the track beaten by the nineteen-year-old Mozart. And managed to complete the track, too.


Playing the violin and conducting: Barnabás Kelemen


Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Schubert: Symphony No. 5

2021-04-23 - 19:00
BDO’s YouTube channel -
FREE ONLINE CONCERT! Conductor and soloist: Barnabás Kelemen
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