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About the program

The June 19th open air concert of the Budapest Festival Orchestra is cancelled due to the extreme flood situation in Budapest.


The year 1773 was a turning point in the career of the young Mozart. In March this year he returned to Salzburg from his third journey to Italy, and in his works of  the  following  year we find compositions which are perfect reminiscences of the   Italian musical style Mozart  became acquainted with in Milan, Rome and Naples, and compositions which contained new elements in addition to the Italian  patterns.  These  are compositions where Mozart was searching for his own voice.
The  symphony  in  G  major composed in April 1773 (barely a month after his return from Italy) is interesting from the perspective of music history because it illustrates with great  clarity  how  the  composer  gradually drifted  away  from  the  Italian  style.
The  first movement  is  adjusted  to  the  Italian  sinfoniamodel almost perfectly.
The slow movement also follows in the footsteps of contemporary Italian symphonies, however, at a  certain  point  the  grazioso  prescribed  at  the beginning of the movement is broken: as if a dark storm  cloud  in  minor  covered  the  glittering, shining sun and after the clouds have gone, not even the return of the major can bring genuine relief.  This  unexpected  but  recurring  minor shadow reminds us of the melancholic darkening of the mature Mozart compositions, but for the time  being  it  is  embedded  innocently  into  the fabric of Italian music.
At the same time, in the final movement, which compared  to  the  previous  ones  is  surprisingly lengthy,  the  very  first  bars  show  that  the composer follows completely different paths: the four-score  theme  played  by  the  first  violins foreshadows a fugue, and though the continuation confines this contrapuntal basic idea to a sonata form, this solution is obviously a sign of the complexity of Mozart symphonies composed later on.


The ballet music consisting of the pieces of Bizet’s opera was made for the world-famous ballerina Maya Plisetskaya in 1967. Initially, the suite was requested from Dmitri Shostakovich, but he did not dare touch Bizet’s opera; so Plisetskaya’s husband, Rodion Shchedrin, started to compose it himself. The complete ballet premiered in Moscow’s Bolshoi. The piece was banned after the premiere because the censors found it to be overheated and erotic. Later, it was played almost three hundred times in New York, always with astounding success. Bizet and Shchedrin’s ballet music is now a repertoire piece in the world’s concert halls.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony in G-major (K.199) Georges Bizet – Rogyion Shchedrin: Carmen suite


Gábor Takács-Nagy