Back to Nature – Chamber Music on Period Instruments
About the program
More mature Hungarian music fans may remember how, when historical performance styles first appeared in Hungary sometime around the late 1970s or early 1980s, there was a great debate in the journal Muzsika about how it was possible to know a composer’s precise intentions towards performances of their early music or how a certain work would have been performed at the time of its conception, and if anyone knew Bach’s phone number. Nowadays we see the debate as just another part of music history. At the very beginning of the 1980s, Capella Savaria became the first Hungarian ensemble to specialise in baroque and classical music. Others followed later. However belatedly they may have appeared compared to happier parts of the world, historical performances have won widespread respect and can now lay claim to a large camp of supporters. In its relatively few years of history, the Festival Orchestra’s baroque ensemble has made a name for itself; its superb concerts are very well received by both reviewers and audiences alike. The two concerts in our new series will even see our ensemble’s musicians performing in chamber formations.
The second concert picks up where the first left off. In London in 1765, the child Mozart met Johann Christian Bach, whose personality and music would shape him. One of the works written during his fruitful year of 1788 is the six-movement Divertimento for String Trio in E flat major (Mozart’s only completed work for string trio). For the Dresden premiere, the composer played the viola part. Alfred Einstein, the great German music historian and author of a Mozart biography, called it one of Mozart’s most noble compositions.
One of chamber music’s most beautiful and deservedly popular pieces, Brahms’ Trio for Violin, Piano and Horn in E flat major found its final form in the summer of 1865 in Baden-Baden, although we know from the composer’s letters that he had completed the first draft in 1862. The musicians of the Festival Orchestra will close the second concert with this masterpiece, a lonely summit of chamber music.