About the program
In the autumn of 2013, world-famous pianist Mikhail Pletnev’s concert with the BFO in the Main Hall of the Academy of Music was a great success. He will now appear as a conductor of the orchestra, as well as a composer. In addition to his own compositions, arrangements form an important part of his oeuvre. The re-orchestrated piece he will now present as conductor has been, along with its composer, of particular significance for his career as a pianist. The work in question is Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. The numbering is misleading, as this was the one of the two piano concertos that was written later. Its premiere was on 11 October 1830, with the composer playing the piano and Carlo Soliva conducting. Performed to a capacity audience, the piece was acknowledged, in the words of the contemporary press, with “deafening applause”. The report stated, “The discerning audience considers the E minor concerto one of the most majestic of all compositions,” and we probably cannot but agree.
Hungarian concertgoers can seldom hear Alexander Glazunov’s works. The composer, who was born in Saint Petersburg in 1865, never had much of a following in Hungary, though he was once, particularly around 1880–1890, favoured and performed around the world, with Stravinsky being one of his music’s enthusiasts. A student of Balakirev and Rimsky-Korsakov, he was a keen and very successful conductor of the eight symphonies he composed, performing all over Europe. His pieces for ballet are kept on the repertoire by many an opera house. Though originally not intended for theatrical use, “The Seasons” also became popular on the ballet stage. As the title would suggest, the ballet has four movements. Its choreographer, Marius Petipa, was a seminal master of classical Russian ballet.