Budapest Festival Orchestra

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March 2024
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The orchestral version of Vocalise originally written for voice and piano, and a gem of the vocal repertoire, will open the concert, followed by the Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by Anna Vinnitskaya, described by the Washington Post as "a true lioness" and by Gramophone as "an unforgettable and sparkling interplay of light and shadow". After the interval, the monumental musical triumph, Symphony No. 2, is played. The vocal part of Vocalise must be performed on a preferred vowel. The sustained notes and supple melodies create an almost violin-like sound. It's no wonder that many instrumental versions of the popular song have been written, with the orchestral version being created by the composer himself. This orchestration perhaps enhances the sensuality and hypnotic beauty of the piece. Speaking of hypnosis... In 1901, Rachmaninoff completed his Piano Concerto No. 2, which was a breakthrough for him: it helped him stop drinking and overcome the depression caused by a failed performance. After the failure of Symphony No. 1, he thought he was incapable of composing. He devoted the piece that brought the breakthrough to his physician, Nicolai Dahl, who helped not only his recovery but also the creation of the work with hypnotherapy. But writing symphonies remained a sensitive issue. Rachmaninoff returned to the genre only after a decade of failure, and was dissatisfied with his first drafts. He forced himself to revise the work, and in 1908, as conductor, he led the first performance in St. Petersburg to success. He was awarded the Glinka Prize for this as well as for the Piano Concerto. He had completely overcome his trauma.

Program and cast

Conductor:

Iván Fischer

Featuring:

piano

Anna Vinnitskaya

Palace of Arts Müpa Budapest

When Müpa Budapest, Hungary and its capital's new cultural hub, opened in 2005, it was built to represent more than 100 years of Hungarian cultural history. As a conglomeration of cultural venues, the building has no precedent in 20th century Hungarian architecture and has no peers in the whole of Central Europe.


The creators of this ambitious project, the Trigránit Development Corporation, prime contractor Arcadom Construction and the Zoboki, Demeter and Partners Architectural Office, were driven by the desire to create a new European cultural citadel as part of the new Millennium City Centre complex along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Danube waterfront. The result is a facility whose construction quality, appearance, functionality and 21st century technological infrastructure makes it ideally suited to productions of the highest standard. The building is also highly versatile and equipped to host performances of any genre and almost any scale.

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