Artistic director: Iván Fischer
A joint event of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Palace of Arts.
Thanks to a type of concert previously unknown in Hungary, the BFO and the Palace of Arts established a new tradition in 2008. Friends, enthusiasts, lovers, slaves, fanatics, buffs, and maniacs of music regard it a red-letter day, when they can cherish the popular pieces of the composer they adore – this is the occasion when everyone can find something on the programme to their liking.
The Marathons traditionally attract large crowds and a considerable part of the audience consists of the voracious, who sit through every concert in the series.
The “hero” of the 2015 Marathon is Igor Stravinsky.
Tickets available from November 18.
Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) was premiered on 29 May 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris. The audience of the premiere took part in what has probably been the greatest scandal in the history of music, involving much shouting, face-slapping, abusive language, loss of temper, and ear-boxing. (It is interesting to remark that, nearly two months earlier, a no less memorable slap landed in someone’s face in a Viennese concert hall during Arnold Schönberg’s concert. Music was no blood sport in those days, but it evoked rather peculiar forms of emotion.)
While styles and schools have come and gone and luminaries have risen and faded away, Stravinsky has remained a fixed star in the firmament of twentieth century music, partly owing to his ability to constantly renew his art throughout a long career. His Russian style gave way to his neo-classical period before he gradually turned to new techniques. Characterised by a vast variety of styles and genres, his oeuvre has now settled down as classical (gosh, where have those slaps in the face gone?), yet it has retained its novelty and excitement.