LISZT Les Préludes – symphonic poem, S. 97
BARTÓK Cello Concerto (transcription by Tibor Serly based on the Viola Concerto)
– intermission –
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
László Fenyő cello
Conductor András Keller
Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra
The opening work, Ferenc Liszt’s symphonic poem Les Préludes, was first performed at a concert in Weimar in 1854. Today, it is perhaps the composer’s best known and most popular piece after Rhapsody No. 2. “I am very glad to be able to tell you that your viola concerto is ready in draft, so that only the score has to be written, which means a purely mechanical work, so to speak. If nothing happens I can be through in 5 or 6 weeks.” This is from a letter by Béla Bartók dated August 1945 to William Primrose, commissioner of the work, although the optimism proved tragically unfounded. The Viola Concerto was finally completed by Tibor Serly, who created the cello variation as well, which we hear with solo by Hungarian cellist László Fenyő, who ever since his triumph at the 2004 International Pablo Casals Violoncello Competition has toured the world. Finally, this Friday recital promises to be a witches’ Sabbath and, of course, a ball thanks to Berlioz’s Symphony fantastique.