Jonathan Biss and Concerto Budapest

LIGETI Concert Românesc
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto in G major, op. 58
- intermission -
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite for Orchestra based on "One Thousand And One Nights", op. 35

Jonathan Biss piano
Concerto Budapest
Conductor: András Keller

“Good and bad at the same time.” This was György Ligeti’s assessment of the quality of his youthful work Concert Românesc (1951), and even if we can understand why the composer handled the work – of its era and evoking echoes of its models (for example, Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances) – with reservations, this composition still more than stands its ground in concert halls today, something that can hardly be said of the majority of similar pieces from the 1950s. There was no shadow of doubt about the artistic merits of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, the opening solo of which was debuted by the composer himself, whereas for this occasion the American Jonathan Biss, a true Beethoven aficionado, is at the keyboard. Finally, Concerto Budapest play the Scheherazade suite, a classical music hit with fabulous orchestration and equally fabulous theme under Kossuth Prize conductor András Keller. The 1888 Rimsky-Korsakov work based on One Thousand and One Nights recreates an inimitable magical atmosphere even for those listeners who are totally unaware of the adventures of Sinbad or the figure of Sultan Shahryar.