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  • (c) Marco Borggreve
    © Marco Borggreve

Barokk Koncert: J. S. Bach, Telemann

About the Event

Step back into history and experience the grandeur of Baroque music at the beautiful Liszt Academy Concert Center in Budapest.

Experience virtuosity, grandeur, and a marriage of caricatures and mythology at the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s upcoming early music concert. Once more, the ensemble will be led by British Baroque music specialist, Jonathan Cohen, with historic period gestures sculpted under the expert guidance of Sigrid T’Hooft. Rising to the challenge of the soprano solo from Bach’s most beloved cantata and Telemann’s composition 'Ino', Carolyn Sampson will captivate the audience with her fresh tone, superb technique, and subtly sensual style — qualities praised by critics from The Guardian.

In the Bach cantata as well as in the Brandenburg Concerto, the trumpet will hold a significant role. Fruzsina Hara, who once held the distinction of being the first female trumpet student at the Liszt Academy, will now play with some of the world’s top orchestras. Alongside her virtuoso solos, the concert will also offer a unique exploration into Telemann's interpretations of the character and music of various nations.

What could be a more fitting choice for 29th September than Bach’s cantata, potentially composed originally in honor of St. Michael? As the score suggests, the work is 'et in ogni tempo', meaning it is timeless and can be performed whenever desired. This is the sole Bach cantata scored for a soprano voice and trumpet solo. It begins with a virtuosic dialogue with the violin, segues into a strikingly melodic and expressive recitative, then unfurls into the intimate plea of the second aria. Concluding with a concerto‐like chorale arrangement and a joyously fugal alleluia, it's a work of exquisite craftsmanship.

Interestingly, Bach, once considered an average musical director of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, only acquired this post after Telemann, the renowned composer, declined it. Among Telemann's prolific output are several orchestral suites or 'overtures', in which he captures the essence of various cultures — from the vigorous Turks to the diverse Swiss, the Muscovites, and the Portuguese, even without having traveled globally.

Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos, penned in 1721, are a pinnacle of Baroque concerto composition. The second concerto features a unique soloist group comprising a trumpet, recorder, oboe, and violin. In the opening movement, the soloists interchange the rhythmic theme, while the melancholic andante silences the trumpet, leaving the other three instruments to express their lament. The finale reunites the soloists, almost entirely overshadowing the accompanying string section, culminating in a vibrant, joyous conclusion.

Telemann’s dramatic cantata 'Ino' was written when he was 84. The narrative picks up where Handel’s opera 'Semele' concludes. Ino and her husband Athamas raised Dionysus at the behest of Zeus, angering Hera. In her wrath, Hera drives the couple to madness: Athamas fatally shoots one of their children, mistaking him for a beast, while Ino, in her delusion, leaps into the sea with the other. Zeus intervenes, rescuing Ino and transforming her into a goddess. After a poignant rendition of Ino's ordeal in the sea, the cantata resolves in a hymn of Mozartian elegance and melodious beauty.

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