Jonathan Biss and Concerto Budapest

LIGETI Concert Românesc
MOZART: Piano Concerto in G major, K. 453
- 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

Primarily representative of the national classicist trend of the fifties in Hungary although in some places it anticipated the stylistic motifs of György Ligeti. This is the 1951 Concert Românesc, whose dominant folk divertimento tone eventually descends into a kind of distraction scene: “good and bad at the same time”, as the highly self-critical composer himself put it. The early Ligeti work is followed by a mature Mozart masterpiece, the Piano Concerto in G major (1784), with solo by Jonathon Biss who besides his piano playing skills is also active as a music writer, teacher and festival director (Marlboro Music Festival). It is customary to wheel out an anecdote in connection with this piano concerto, according to which Mozart’s favourite pet starling was capable of whistling the melody of the third movement. On the contrary, the closing number of the concert compiled and conducted by András Keller justifies mention of an entire collection of fairy tales because the symphonic suite (1888) with lavish orchestration by Rimsky-Korsakov is based on One Thousand and One Nights as it conjures up the figures of Scheherazade and Sinbad the sailor.