About the program
Gergely Dubóczky, the talented young conductor who first worked with the BFO in 2014, will be leading the first concert of the new Rising Stars series. István Kádár, a well-known member of the orchestra and one of the winners of the 2015 Sándor Végh Competition, will be the concerto’s soloist.
Besides his opera overtures, Hector Berlioz also composed overtures for concerts, a few of which have become integral parts of orchestral concert programmes. Le Corsaire (The Pirate) is one of his oft-performed concert overtures; he wrote it in Nice during the summer of 1844. It premiered as The Tower of Nice, but in the end the composer borrowed the title from Byron’s poem, which was seen as one of the great literary accomplishments of the age. Berlioz’s overture is sweeping, spectacularly orchestrated, unsparing with the volume by providing plenty for the brass section to play, and makes for an excellent opening to the concert.
That the national socialist regime was not going to embrace Hindemith was clear to him from the very beginning. His works were banned from being broadcast on the radio as early as 1934 and he was denounced as a ‘cultural Bolshevist’, his music as ‘degenerate’. After his prohibition in Germany, he emigrated first to Switzerland, and then on to the United States in 1940. His violin concerto, composed in 1939, was his last major work before leaving Europe, and the flowing melodies of the first two movements, as well as the witty, brilliant ideas of the third, brought new colours to his palette.
Beethoven himself conducted the April 1803 premiere of his Second Symphony at the Theater an der Wien. He already knew about his incurable hearing condition while composing the piece, and had said farewell to happiness in his famous Heiligenstadt testament. This doesn’t come through in the music, though. The novelty of the symphony surprised contemporary listeners, who were especially captivated by the opening movement and the Scherzo.