The Hungarian triumph at Royal Opera House Muscat
By Maurice Gent — The Budapest Festival Orchestra is one of the youngest foundations in Europe, but it is also one of the best. Set up only twenty years ago in 1992 it has received support from Hungary’s Ministry of National Resources and the Budapest City Council. With their support and crucially the support of Ivan Fischer, who has been their conductor and guiding light since then, it has become recognised as one of the really Great European orchestras.
Their skills were certainly recognised by a highly enthusiastic audience, who cheered the performance again and again . The performance of violinist Joszef Lendvay, was superb. If you are going to be a genius it helps of course, to start at an early age. He won his first prize at the age of seven. He has by now performed as solo artist at 40 top class concerts worldwide. That includes top concerts in New York, London and Korea.
When you get a really great artist much of the enjoyment comes from the way they use their skills, but also crucial is the electricity existing between conductor and artist. The audience cheered and clapped again because the reactions between the two were so good. There was a sense of a virtuoso performance by either man. What mattered was the unity of the whole.
The works of three composers were performed. Ernst von Dohnanyi, Bela Bartok and Antonin Dvorak. The whole performance achieved unity through the superb conducting skills of Ivan Fischer. Fischer has been an innovator in so many different ways as he led the Budapest Festival Orchestra and indeed many other musical organisations to greater glory. Also active as a composer, Ivan Fischer since 2012 has been working as Music Director of the Konzert Haus Berlin.
There was then a night when the two performers showed their genius together as it was way back in 2009. Then the violinist played the famous Stradivari built in 1691.
The ROHM is looking forward to a very active time next month. Following the A Cappella Festival in March there are six top performances scheduled for April. On April 3 there is an evening in Morocco with both song and dance. On April 7 the spotlight falls on Wales and it’s great bass baritone, Bryn Terfel .
On April 11 it’s an evening with award winning Branford Marsalis, the saxophonist at the very top of his profession..
For three nights in the middle of April 19, 20 and 21, the ROHM offers perhaps the most famous of operas — Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, which believes in keeping it’s Jazz hot, will visit on April 24 and the month finishes with a Mexican touch on April 27 and 28 with the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.