Hungarian Gems 4.

RÓZSA: Viola Concerto
BARTÓK: Four Orchestral Pieces, BB 64
LISZT: Promethius symphonic poem

Máté Szűcs viola
Concerto Budapest
Conductor: János Kovács

Three-times Oscar winner Miklós Rózsa lived, according to his own words, “a double life” because the former student of the Leipzig Conservatory was not only the film music composer on legendary Hollywood productions but composer of concert hall works as well. The Viola Concerto worked on between 1980 and 1984 offers a representative sample of this latter (and, sadly, underestimated) part of his career. It was first performed in public by Pinchas Zukerman, and for several years it has featured on the repertoire of the excellent Máté Szűcs. Béla Bartók wrote Four Orchestral Pieces between 1907 and 1912, and then nine years later he orchestrated the work with Italian movement titles; the inner pathway of the piece leads from music of nature through a grotesque pursuit and waltz reminiscences to the funeral march. “The musical character of the piece derives from the sorrow triumphant through its steadfastness of sublime power.” This quote serves to characterize Ferenc Liszt’s symphonic poem Prometheus, the third and concluding number of the programme conducted by János Kovács; it comes from the programme of the work in which his recognized partner Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein also had a hand.