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About the program

Prokofiev composed his Overture on Hebrew themes, Op. 34, in America in the autumn of 1919. The original version was written for a sextet of Jewish musicians called the Zimro Ensemble, the members of which had all studied under Prokofiev at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. It took ten days for the composer to compile a final version from the themes improvised on a piano, and following a successful New York premiere he arranged it for a small orchestra.

There are more distinctive, Hungarian flavours in the early, Brahms-inspired Piano Quintet by the Budapest players’ compatriot Béla Bartók and the programme wouldn’t be complete  without the infectious jollity of Poulenc’s effervescent Sextet.


Szergej Prokofjev: Overture for Hebrew Themes
Francis Poulenc: Sextet for piano and wind quintet
Béla Bartók: Piano quintet, BB 33


Dénes Várjon, piano