BARTÓK: Violin Concerto No. 1, BB 48a
LISZT: 2 Episoden aus Lenau's Faust: Nightly March, Mephisto Waltz S 110
SUK: Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra in G minor, Op. 24
BARTÓK: Miraculous Mandarin Suite, BB 82
Christian Tetzlaff violin
Conductor: András Keller
By tradition, the music of Béla Bartók receives a prominent role in the September season opening concerts of Concerto Budapest, and things will be no different this year. “In our correspondence [...], he marked out two or three themes referring to me. The two movements are two portraits, the first is the young girl whom he loved; the second is the violinist whom he admired.” This is how, decades later, Stefi Geyer, to whom the work is dedicated and the subject of Bartók’s unrequited passion, remembered the violin concerto dating from 1907-8. The principal part composed for Geyer, just as the solo of the early 20th century Fantasia by Josef Suk, brother-in-law to Dvořák, are played by the brilliant German virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff, who has been welcomed and celebrated in Budapest on numerous occasions since 2001. The violinist, what’s more a devilish violinist has a major role in the history of the orchestral piece performed after the intermission, since the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 was inspired by the second movement of the Liszt work Two Episodes from Lenau’s Faust, in which the demonic tempter fiddles in a village tavern. Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke – this was the title of the movement built on variation enhancement, before which the first episode, The Nightly March, will be performed much less frequently and it is reasonable to talk of dance and temptation in relation to the Bartók work that rounds off the concert. As it is to mention the extraordinary music history scandal because the 1926 premiere of The Miraculous Mandarin in Cologne was a stormy affair and quickly led to it being banned.