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About the program

Veress: Threnos

Sándor Veress, one of the most excellent and most internationally recognised representatives of Hungarian music after Bartók, emigrated to Switzerland in 1949 for political reasons at the age of 42, at the height of his creative powers. He continued composing and teaching. Threnos is an orchestral piece he composed to pay tribute to Béla Bartók.

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2

The pieces for piano and orchestra, including the two piano concertos, date back to the first part of Chopin’s career. The concerto in F minor, which is numbered second, in actual fact preceded the concerto in E minor: It was composed by Chopin between autumn 1829 and the beginning of 1830, and was premiered on 17 March 1830 in the National Theatre in Warsaw, naturally with the composer playing the solo. The programme of the concert featured one more Chopin piece, Grand Fantasia, composed for Polish songs. Due to the great success, the concert had to be repeated in a few days, and on the second evening the Grand Fantasia was replaced by Krakowiak.

Brahms–Schönberg: Piano quartet

In 1937 when the Brahms transcript was made, Schönberg had already been living and working in the USA for a while. In his letter to Alfred Frankenstein, critic of The San Francisco Chronicle dated in 1939, Schönberg talks about the reasons for recasting Brahms’ piece: “I like this piece. It is rarely played. It is always played badly because the better the pianist, the louder he plays, and the strings cannot be heard. I wanted everything to be audible, and I have managed to do it.”


Program

Sándor Veress: Threnos (In memoriam Béla Bartók)
Frédéric Chopin: Piano concerto no.2
Johannes Brahms: Piano quartet (Arnold Schönberg’s rearrangement)

conductor

Iván Fischer

Soloists

Maria Joao Pires, piano