The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra teamed up with MÜPA – Artist of the Season Emőke Baráth, a hugely popular soprano home and abroad, as well as Gábor Takács-Nagy, one of the most influential conductors of our time to showcase the works of two composers different in character presenting their totally different musical spheres. Mozart and Grieg – Central Europe v Scandinavia, Classical music v Romanticism, the rambling energies of an eternal child v the emotions scratching the surface of the disciplined adulthood – the contrasts in parallel are numerous. While the concert rich in different genres will provide the performers a chance to showcase their rich palette of knowledge and talent, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra has prepared several musical surprises for the night.
We borrowed Mozart’s lasting description from the conductor himself, Gábor Takács-Nagy, who called the artist the eternal child composer, an innocent gazer, projecting his attitude towards life as reflected by his works onto his entire oeuvre. The composer and his interpreter are likeminded souls: the eyes of Takács-Nagy are reflecting the same Sun, getting filled with tears of youthful mischievous joy and disappointment, sharing happy sparks with the orchestra once again with the upcoming themes. No wonder he is welcome by orchestras and audiences all over the world. In the very beginning of the concert Takács-Nagy will be conducting Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201, one of Mozart’s early symphonies written at the age of 18 which is already a mature, perfect work of art, full of serenity and cheerful brilliance.
Sticking to the epitheton ornans, the work following the symphony will present yet another childlike phenomenon: resistance, restlessness and the struggle of “all or nothing”, all in the form of a soprano aria. The legend woven around the creation of the work reinforces the naughty child-like quality of the piece written in the Don Giovanni era, as it was rumoured to be another “do it if you can” flick. The 15-minute fiery aria building on the performer’s full knowledge and power as requested by a singer not refraining from anything in the name of popularity is a true rival to the Queen of the Night aria. Emőke Baráth and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra have already achieved raging success with their performance at the 2020 Kaposfest and now the audience will have the chance to meet them in Szeged and the capital.
Following the break, Takács-Nagy will conduct further pieces reflecting the wish of Hungary’s most well-known chamber orchestra to expand the string orchestra repertoire. Six Grieg songs will premiere in orchestral transcripts probably strengthening their popularity as the sound of the orchestra will benefit from the ethereal voice of Emőke Baráth concluding in new colours and various shades. The wonderful romantic cycle was born around 1884-89, nearing the end of a sad and critical period for the Grieg couple, revealing the optimistic mood of a fresh start. The almost Rococo songs making use of poems written by Goethe, Heine and other romantic German poets of the era became memorable contemporary hits that people loved to hum evolving into classical musical favourites later on.
The night will conclude with Grieg’s only complete and surviving string quartet played by sixteen virtuoso artists of the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra in unison, presenting the grandiose 1878 work in a richer sound.
The concert in Szeged will take place at the National Theatre on 20 January 2022, while the Budapest concert will take shelter at the Academy of Music on 23 January 2022.
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
Artistic director: István Várdai
Concertmaster: Péter Tfirst
Featuring: Emőke Baráth (vocals)
Conductor: Gábor Takács-Nagy
Mozart: Symphony in A major, K. 201
Mozart: Bella mia fiamma, addio – concert aria, K. 528
Grieg: Six Songs, Op. 48 – transcription for string orchestras by Ari Rabenu
Grieg: String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27 – string orchestra version