Commemorative Concert on the 75th Anniversary of the Death of Béla Bartók

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BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 2, BB 101
BARTÓK Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta, BB 114
– intermission –
BARTÓK Duke Bluebeard’s Castle


Mihály Berecz (piano), Szilvia Vörös (mezzosoprano), Gábor Bretz (bass)
Concerto Budapest
Conductor: András Keller

Three principal works are performed at this commemorative concert on the 75th anniversary of the death of Béla Bartók. Béla Balázs, librettist of the composer’s only opera, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, originally intended it for his roommate Kodály, but in the end Bartók started to write the opera in 1911. He submitted the work to two tenders but was rejected on both occasions and one conductor considered it simply unplayable. Finally, the opera premiered in 1918 in the wake of the success of The Wooden Prince, since when it has ranked among the most defining theatrical works of the 20th century. The two orchestral pieces debuted in the 1930s: the second piano concerto in Frankfurt in 1933, and Music in Basel in 1937. This was at a time when the composer saw the realization of his idea – professed with such profound belief, nothing less than “the idea of people becoming brothers, becoming brothers despite all wars and all danger” – becoming instead an ever-more distant dream. András Keller has invited superb soloists to attend this recital: Mihály Berecz, the hugely talented young pianist, Gábor Bretz, who has sung many principal roles all over the world, and Szilvia Vörös, the young vocalist of the Vienna Staatsoper who just keeps on marking up successes.