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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.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano concerto no.4, Op.58

Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No.4 between 1805 and 1807. It was innovative in that the sonata-like first movement starts not with an orchestral introduction, but a piano solo. Even more unusual was the omission of wind instruments in the second movement, with piano and strings in a dramatically charged dialogue. The work was premičred as part of a “mammoth concert” at the Theater an der Wien, alongside performances of the 5th and 6th Symphonies, as well as extracts from the Mass in C. As with the premičres of his previous three piano concertos, the soloist was the composer himself, though this time it was clear that he was hardly fit to perform on account of his deafness. As a result, his student Czerny was to premičre the 5th Piano Concerto.

Antonín Dvořak: Symphony No. 8

Dvořák started to compose his Symphony No. 8 in August 1889 in his beloved apartment in the countryside in Vysoka, in a stable financial position and using all of his creative talent. It took him only two-and-a-half weeks to complete the sketches and the piece was completed by 8 November. The premiere in February 1890 was conducted by the composer himself. It was Symphony No. 8 that he conducted in 1891 in Cambridge when receiving the honorary doctoral title of this prestigious university.


Sándor Veress: Threnos (In memoriam Béla Bartók)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano concerto no.4, Op.58
Antonín Dvořak: Symphony No. 8


Iván Fischer


Maria Joao Pires, piano