Trusted Shops badge

Budapest Festival Orchestra Bridging Europe: Liszt, Bartók

About the Event

Immerse yourself in the stunning architecture of Budapest's breathtaking Palace of Arts for the ultimate concert set to awake your understanding of classical music.

Experience a journey across Europe through music with performances rooted in the works of Liszt and Bartók, with the unique inclusion of cimbalom, piano, and pantomime. The famed Hungarian Rhapsody is more than just a mere orchestral performance it is a vibrant interpretation that integrates the distinctive instrument of urban gypsy music that once inspired Liszt himself. The virtuoso cimbalom solo will be performed by the globally acclaimed Jenő Lisztes, renowned for enchanting audiences at renowned venues like Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein, and the BBC Proms in collaboration with the BFO, and for his work with the legendary Hans Zimmer.

Liszt's piano concerto, growing richer with each orchestration across four versions, will be brought to life by the dynamic Croatian soloist Dejan Lazić. Praised by The Guardian for his powerful yet graceful performance, Lazić will mesmerize listeners with his interpretation of this evolving masterpiece. After the interval, audiences will be treated to Bartók's highly revered work, The Miraculous Mandarin, featuring a narrative that delves into the existential questions of body and soul. This performance will feature the powerful interpretations of the Éva Duda Dance Company.

During the mid‐19th century, as demands for national music began to rise globally, Franz Liszt composed 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, considered his most celebrated series, based on melodies he identified as Hungarian folk tunes, mostly from gypsy musicians. Some of these compositions, dedicated to Count László Teleki, were originally composed for solo piano and later arranged for orchestra. The Rhapsodies adhere to the traditional “csárdás” structure, transitioning from the solemn and dramatic “lassan” (slow) to the vivacious and high‐spirited “friska,” a lively csárdás.

In the late 1840s, Liszt ceased performing and settled in Weimar as a court conductor. This shift in lifestyle led to a change in his compositional focus, concentrating on the previously overlooked symphonic genres. At the premiere of his Piano Concerto in A major in 1857, Liszt conducted while one of his students performed the piano part. This piece, while seemingly a single movement, encompasses several sections. Each segment revolves around a single intimate and lyrical theme, reincarnating the same motif with differing styles and tempos – culminating in a triumphant brass fanfare in the finale.

Béla Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin unfolds with a dark tale where 'three outlaws force a young girl to seduce men, whom they subsequently rob,'. The narrative evolves into a futile struggle of the outlaws against a wealthy Chinaman, who survives their attacks due to his obsessive love for the girl. Eventually, his desire is fulfilled, and he collapses. Despite the initial failure of the opera in Cologne in 1926, which was censured due to explicit content, Bartók’s innovative music transcends convention. The progressive use of dissonance and emphasis on percussion and wind instruments paints the narrative with a relentless rhythmic pulse. This gripping spectacle is set to be reimagined by the dancers of the Éva Duda Dance Company, celebrated for their energetic and audacious choreography.

This enriching event is brought to you by the collaboration of Müpa Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Gift card