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About the program

Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella, not only marks a turning point in the composer’s oeuvre: music historians consider it a milestone in modern music too, claiming it marks the beginning of neo-classicism. It was Diaghilev who drew the already world-famous composer’s attention to the music of Pergolesi in 1919. Stravinsky began studying the works of the Italian musician, and produced a ballet from various works of his, evoking characters and situations from the old Neapolitan commedia dell’arte. In 1922, he composed a suite from Pulcinella, a staple piece in concert halls ever since. In Suite italienne he ‘recycles’ certain movements of the ballet. The first version of the Suite italienne was written for violin and piano in 1925; then, in 1932, Stravinsky produced the cello version for his world-famous compatriot Gregor Piatigorsky, while in 1933 he revised the suite once again (and for the last time) to please violinist Samuel Dushkin. The charm of Pergolesi’s music, combined with Stravinsky’s piquant and ironic style, makes Suite italienne, the only piece for cello and piano in Stravinsky’s oeuvre, extraordinarily enjoyable.

Three Pieces for String Quartet had its world premiere in the 1915–1916 season performed by the Flonzaley String Quartet. Afterwards, the leader of the quartet, Alfred Pochon, advised the composer to write further string quartets. Stravinsky spent the summer in Carantec, Brittany, with his first wife. From here he sent angry letters to his friend, Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (librettist of Histoire du soldat), because people had the nerve to sing loudly and drunkenly from the small hours on, just in front of his room, denying him sleep as well as making composition impossible. The fact that he was still able to compose is well demonstrated by the single-movement Concertino, the score of which Stravinsky managed to submit to the quartet in the autumn. He arranged the piece for a twelve-strong instrumental ensemble in 1952.

Scored for clarinet, French horn, bassoon, piano, violin, viola, and cello, Septet was written in 1953, and premiered in January 1954 in Dumbarton Oaks, conducted by the composer. By this date Stravinsky had already scrutinised and learned Webern’s composition procedures and, partly, the technique of serialism. In spite of its serialistic development, Septet remains a tonal work in A major.


990 HUF


Igor Stravinsky: Suite italienne (from Pulcinella)
Igor Stravinsky: Concertino
Igor Stravinsky: Septet


Gergely Dubóczky


Miklós Perényi, cello
Benjámin Perényi, piano
Musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra
Mária Gál-Tamási, violin
István Kádár, violin
Barna Juhász, viola
Lajos Dvorák, cello
György Markó, cello
Gabriella Pivon, flute
Philippe Tondre, oboe
Zoe Kitson, English horn
Roland Csalló, clarinet
Mihály Duffek, bassoon
Sándor Patkós, bassoon
Dávid Bereczky, horn
Zsolt Czeglédi, trumpet
Zoltán Tóth, trumpet
Róbert Stürzenbaum, trombone
Justin Clark, trombone
Dávid Báll, piano