LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major
LISZT: Dance of Death
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124
LISZT: Hungarian Fantasy
Károly Mocsári piano
Conductor: Gergely Dubóczky
“For my sixtieth birthday, I thought I would surprise myself and the audience with piano concertos by Ferenc Liszt, the composer I feel closest to, and at the same time pay tribute to the memory of the person I consider the greatest pianist, Zoltán Kocsis, who would have been 70 this year.” This is Károly Mocsári’s way of drawing the attention of the public to his remarkable concert. In fact, the pianist established a lifelong friendship with Zoltán Kocsis at the Liszt Academy. Both artists were devoted to the works of Ferenc Liszt, something that is evident in the choice of programme for this commemorative concert: as well as the two great piano concertos, the E-flat major and A major, there are two other iconic pieces in which the focus is on the interplay of orchestra and piano. Dance of Death (Totentanz) was partly inspired by a fresco in Pisa; the composer worked on it for more than 15 years until its debut in 1865. It is structured on one of the most famous Gregorian plainsongs, the Dies Irae motif, which is evident in countless works from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique to Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. It is a particularly virtuoso composition, a true test of the performer, as is Hungarian Fantasy evoking folk melodies, which premiered in Pest in 1853 with Ferenc Erkel conducting and solo by Liszt’s later son-in-law, Hans von Bülow.