BEETHOVEN: Egmont Overture, Op. 84
BARTÓK: Violin Concerto, No. 112, BB 117
CSAJKOVSZKIJ: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
András Keller – violin
Conductor: Gábor Takács-Nagy
Concerto Budapest’s March concert promises three essential masterpieces of the symphonic repertoire. What’s more, on the basis of the title of the concert, we may also wonder who plays on the violin and who wields the baton: András Keller or Gábor Takács-Nagy?
It is always a joy to hear András Keller, music director of Concerto Budapest, playing the violin, and if the piece he is to play is Bartók’s Violin Concerto, then we are guaranteed to be witnesses of an authentic performance since the matter closest to the hearts of both orchestra and conductor is the music of this great Hungarian composer. “If I wasn’t Hungarian, Bartók would still be my favourite composer,” Keller has stated, adding that it is worth approaching Bartók from Beethoven. It is thus no coincidence that this concert begins with the famous Egmont overture by Beethoven, at the centre of which is the figure of the tragic Habsburg Netherlands hero, the Count of Egmont, whose execution sparked the national uprising and then victory; the overture is also inextricably linked to the events of 1956. While in this dramatic music the fate of an entire nation is formulated, in the second part we come upon the storms of fate on a personal level: the central theme of Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky is fate, just as it is in Beethoven’s fifth, although we recall Bartók, the folk music collector, because the Russian folk song ‘In the meadow stood a little birch tree’ is discernible in the finale of the Tchaikovsky work. The concert parading a host of special musical and thematic relationships is conducted by the eternally youthful Gábor Takács-Nagy, who always gives one hundred percent when performing.