Lucas Debargue, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Concerto Budapest

DVOŘÁK: My Home – overture, Op. 62
SAINT-SAËNS: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major ‘Egyptian’, Op. 103
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120

Lucas Debargue – piano
Concerto Budapest
Conductor: Gábor Takács-Nagy

There are two late Romantic rarities on the programme of the next Concerto Budapest concert, both with folkloric, even exotic touches, because the My Home overture by Dvořák evokes Czech melodies, while the piano concerto by Saint-Saëns – given the sobriquet ‘Egyptian’ – was influenced not only by the composer’s winter vacation in Luxor but by Javanese, Spanish and Middle Eastern music as well. The concert includes Symphony No. 4 by our closer acquaintance Schumann, and the always enthusiastic and inspiring conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy. 

And we have not even mentioned the soloist, the French pianist who is just 31: although Lucas Debargue ‘only’ came fourth at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 2016, he was universally celebrated and he also collected the Moscow Music Critics Award. His adventurous career did not follow the typical path of a celebrated star: he was not born into a family of musicians, he started playing the piano relatively late, at the age of 11, and he actually quit music studies for a few years in order to pursue literature-art theory. Now he plays Saint-Saëns’s fifth (F major) piano concerto, a rarely heard piece despite the fact that at its premiere it garnered plaudits both among critics and the general public. The composer, who was partly inspired by his vacation in Egypt, referred to his concerto as a sea voyage. This piece is placed between the most frequently (even though in Hungary still rarely) performed movement, the overture interwoven with Czech melodies, of the accompanying music My Home composed by Dvořák for the Šamberk drama, and Schumann’s dramatic Symphony No. 4.

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