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Budapest Festival Orchestra: Ravel, Dohnányi, Mendelssohn

Budapest, Palace of Arts — Bela Bartok National Concert Hall

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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.

Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin isn't just a tribute to baroque keyboard music it's an ode to friends he lost during World War I. Dohnányi, on the other hand, showcases the whimsical side of classical music by transforming the children's song 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' into a piece teeming with humor. Not to be outdone, Mendelssohn celebrates the Reformation through his symphony. These are but snippets of the compelling stories that will come to life during the concert, conducted by the renowned Jaime Martín. His dynamism in music has been lauded globally, and as a Telegraph reviewer put it, Martín's 'enthusiasm for music is contagious to both orchestra and audience.'

The concert unfolds with Ravel's suite, which seamlessly merges innovative sounds with French Baroque elegance. Its movements are more than just tributes to François Couperin they commemorate friends Ravel lost in the war, including two brothers killed by a grenade. Despite its somber inspiration, the piece is more nostalgic than mournful. Originally conceived for piano, Ravel also envisioned it for an orchestra, with the oboe playing a pivotal role. The suite transports the audience from a swirling prelude to the melancholic strains of a forlane, followed by a serene minuet and a touching rigaudon.

Dohnányi's piece offers a humorous break. With a nod to 'the delight of friends of humor' on his score, he juxtaposes a grand orchestral introduction with the simplicity of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.' But it's not all fun and games the piece is laced with sophisticated orchestration, harmonies, and stylistic parodies.

Lastly, Mendelssohn's ties to Protestantism shine through in his symphony, envisioned for the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession. Though the ceremony it was intended for was canceled, Mendelssohn's passion for the subject matter resonates. The symphony is punctuated with motifs like the 'Dresden Amen' and culminates in the rousing chorale 'Ein feste Burg,' encapsulating the triumph of Lutheran voices.

This concert promises a musical journey that interweaves history, emotion, and sheer artistry.


  • Maurice Ravel – Le Tombeau De Couperin (The Grave Of Couperin)
  • Ernö Dohnanyi – Variations On A Nursery Song, Op. 25
  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Symphony No. 5 In D Major (“Reformation”), Op. 107
Program is subject to change


Orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Jaime Martín
Piano: Dénes Várjon

Palace of Arts

MÜPA Budapest is a multipurpose cultural and arts centre, situated in the Millenium Quarter of Budapest. The former 'Palace of Arts' houses three cultural institutions - the Bartok National Concert Hall, the Festival Theatre, and the Ludwig Museum. Opened in 2005, the centre was immediately recognised for its state-of-the-art architecture and functionally sleek interior. The MÜPA's objective is to introduce modern arts while appreciating old traditions, and to make Hungarian art more accessible to a wider audience. The Bartok Concert Hall houses a magnificent organ, one of the largest in Europe. The complex presents events of many kinds, from opera to dance and concerts of contemporary music.


Palace of Arts, Komor Marcell sétány 1., Budapest, Hungary — Google Maps

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