Thomas Zehetmair and the Concerto Budapest

BERG: Violin Concerto
SCHUMANN: Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 131
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 in B minor ‘Pathétique’, Op. 74

Thomas Zehetmair violin
Concerto Budapest
Conductor: András Keller

“To the memory of an angel.” This dedication appears in the score of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, which he was spurred into writing following the death of a close acquaintance in 1935: 19-year-old Manon, daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius. In fact, only a few months passed after completion of the concerto and Berg himself also departed this earthly realm: this was his final fully completed composition. The Violin Concerto is played with solo by brilliant Austrian artist Thomas Zehetmair, well known in Budapest as a violinist and indeed conductor. The other two pieces in the concert conducted by András Keller also represent the closing stages of their respective composers’ careers. Thus the Schumann fantasia for violin and orchestra dates from 1853, the year preceding the tragic collapse of the artist. The ‘Pathétique’ Symphony No. 6, which with the conclusion of the third movement often sparks – in a completely understandable way – applause from the audience, had its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1893. Pjotr Tchaikovsky, who conducted at this momentous evening, lived for a mere nine days after. In his own words, “... it comes into being as the best of my works. I love it as I have never loved any one of my musical offsprings before.”