DVOŘÁK AND THE BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
ger-mania.hu Magdolna Wiebe
As a sought-after guest orchestra of concert halls in German cities, the Budapest Festival Orchestra recently performed at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund. Each of the concerts of the four-day concert series at the music institute dedicated to Dvořák’s oeuvre was performed by the BFO conducted by music director Iván Fischer.
“Dvořák represents Czech spirit better than anyone in Central Europe – a world full of emotions, love of nature, myths, legends and folk traditions” – said Fischer in an interview given to the magazine of the Konzerthaus. The concert series began with the concert-like performance of the maestro’s opera entitled Rusalka. The soloists on the stage were Czech singers not yet known to German audiences, who carried the audience of this three and a half hour performance away with their emotional acting. Pavla Vykupalová interpreted the lyrical desires of the female protagonist in a moving manner, while her prince, Alis Briscein, stood out with his Wagner tenorist skills. The performance was nicely completed with the Czech Philharmonic Choir from Brno led by Petr Fiala. It was rather appealing that the volume of the BFO at the concert-like performance was twice as high as normal during opera performances, and so Iván Fischer could present the opera written by the “Czech Wagner” in shifting colours of music.
The performance was a huge success, and so were the concerts on the following days attended by thousands of music lovers, which featured Dvořák’s Requiem on the second day of the event series, while the programme on the third and fourth day included, among others, two Slavonic Dances and Piano Concerto in G minor by Dvořák performed by British pianist Stephen Hough, as well as Symphony No. 8 and 9, also known as the New Symphony, in addition to Cello Concerto in B minor interpreted by Daniel Müller-Schott in the finale. The enthusiastic audience enjoyed a very original production as an encore at the final concert: female members of the Festival Orchestra sang Dvořák’s music to the accompaniment of male colleagues…
The Budapest Festival Orchestra has played in Dortmund before: three years ago they gave a concert series, similar to this year’s, on pieces by Bartók, but they once performed The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky as well. The BFO travelled from Dortmund to Bruges and Eindhoven to give further concerts, but in December they will be performing in the Ruhr city again, playing Turangalîla, a symphony by Messiaen.