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Fischer Iván

Grandmothers and grandfathers with wide smiles on their faces, and young mothers and fathers with their children have come – they already know they are giving something special to the little ones. Not only cocoa in spotted mugs, but also the experience they will remember even when they grow up. With a taste of music, the path to the world of arts. Cocoa concerts with Iván Fischer.

“Amateur” children, i.e. those attending for the first time, are a little bit nervous, but the experienced ones already know what to expect in the rehearsal hall of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, a house in Óbuda.

Iván Fischer gets on the podium in a naturally friendly manner, and begins introducing the “amateur” children to what is going to happen. He tells how artists are usually greeted, and just how important silence may be. He gives it a try. Silence ensued. The children in the hall watched closely, so much so that even if a fly had crossed the hall, we would have heard it. But no fly did…

And when we knew what applause or silence was like, then came the musicians and the works of art. Folk songs as adapted by Bartók and József Szigeti, and as played and sung by violinist Bence Asztalos, while Iván Fischer just moved his lips silently to the lyrics, which said “László Fehér stole a horse” and “Hey, tulip, tulip…” By the time the fourth song was played, children were already at home, laughing and singing along. In the meantime, Iván Fischer looked round the hall as a content father. Smiles brought on by the mutual playing spread.

The time came to play some special music on special instruments. Baroque melodies on a Baroque trumpet, violin, cello and harpsichord.

The world-famous musician and conductor talked from time to time. Only a little bit, just to enable us to have a taste of ten years’ experience of a young flautist called Ágota Sipos. Or in order to teach children, while they were playing and guessing, that a harp has 47 strings.

Even that harp whose long strings catch everybody’s attention when Klára Bábel plays the Fairy Dance on it, producing the fairy sounds.

Meanwhile, the little children can snuggle up to their mother, while fathers, who are otherwise so careworn, smile at their teenage sons.

“Wasn’t it marvellous? All you have to do is hit the right string” – said Iván Fischer, bringing the children back from tale to reality, but only for a second. Because then came the “Dialogue between the Earth and the Wind”, improvising the sounds of nature with special and ancestral instruments and the participation of a brave little girl, who – out of the blue – joined music players with an instrument imitating the sound of the rain.

By the time the concert finished and the well-known tune of “The Pink Panther” was played, children were already sitting in a circle around the podium. The awed silence was over, everything and everyone was in their right place. In the background, Iván Fischer silently observed this sheer magic between artists, works of art and the audience with a gentle smile on his face.

“What Iván Fischer does is very extraordinary. It is wonderful how he treats children, and how he influences them” – said a blond young man, who was sitting in the last row during the concert, and watched the children sipping their cocoa at the end. This young man, Antoine Pecqueur, was so familiar because he regularly presents live performances from the world’s greatest concert halls and opera houses on Mezzo television channel.

Recently he did so during the Amsterdam concert in Concertgebouw, where Beethoven symphonies were conducted by Iván Fischer, whom he interviewed during the interval.