VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
BRITTEN Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 13
ELGAR Enigma Variations, Op. 36
Matan Porat piano
Conductor Domonkos Héja
Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra
This concert promises a pure, inimitable English selection: sandwiched between two notable and very popular orchestral numbers is a concerto sadly rarely performed in Hungary and most worthy of discovery. With its theme and archaic tonality, the most famous work (1910) by the ‘English Kodály’, Vaughan Williams, is a tribute to his 16th century fellow composer. Britten’s only piano concerto took final shape in 1945: some critics from those days judged the work in four movements as being lightweight music for radio, although musicians of the calibre of Sviatoslav Richter (who played it in Pest) argued in favour of the composition. For this recital, the soloist is the Berlin-resident Israeli pianist Matan Porat: he debuted in front of a domestic audience with Concerto Budapest in 2015, since when he has returned as both chamber musician and composer. “I have sketched a set of Variations on an original theme: the Variations have amused me because I’ve labelled ’em with the nicknames of my particular friends,” Elgar wrote in 1898 about the work in progress; as a true gentleman, he only ever ‘named’ the variations – that together brought him world fame – using monograms, pseudonyms or even three asterisks.