Hungarian Gems 4


LISZT: Malédiction, S.121
LISZT: Piano Concerto No.2

- intermission -

LISZT: Dante Symphony S.109

Fülöp Ránki piano, 
Angelica Girls' Choir, Zsuzsanna Gráf conductor

Concerto Budapest
Conductor: János Kovács

Three grandiose masterpieces will conclude the 2022/23 Hungarian Gems Series at its closing concert, cherry-picking the programme from the oeuvre of a world-renowned Hungarian master.

 The night starts with a genuine treat: Liszt composed his concerto for piano and strings, Malédiction when he was twenty-two; later, he rewrote it. Yet, the piece didn’t get published at the time, only much later, post-humously, in 1915. Its title– Malédiction or Curse – was not the composer’s idea, though; it is only one of the words written above the themes in the manuscript. The score of the piano concerto reflects virtuosity, and its unusual orchestration lends it a unique touch. Although his Piano Concerto in A major was completed only a few years later, it demonstrates an entirely different artistic approach:  the orchestra and the piano play in complete harmony, complementing one another instead of competing. The piece was written in a typical Lisztian form: the three movements are arranged in a single large entity. The soloist playing both piano concertos is Fülöp Ránki. Although he is still in his twenties, he has earned recognition in the international music scene with his profound and spirited way of playing. The last piece of the programme conducted by Maestro János Kovács is one of the most extraordinary feats of Liszt's symphonic oeuvre, his Dante Symphony written in 1855 and 1856. Liszt originally intended to project images and use a wind machine during its performance, but Wagner, to whom the symphony was dedicated, tried to dissuade his friend (and future father-in-law) from these pompous solutions with the words: “No! I exclaimed loudly, not that, away with it! No majestic Deity! Leave us the fine soft shimmer!”  Presumably influenced by him, Liszt wrote two different endings for the future performers of his three-movement piece.