Budapest Festival Orchestra

Concertino: Mozart, Weber, Bottesini, Mendelssohn


Italian Cultural Institute, Grand Hall October 28, 2018, 15:30

Rudolf Szitka (clarinet) • Zsolt Fejérvári (double bass) • Leader: János Pilz

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About the concert

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Divertimento in B-flat major, K. 137

Carl Maria von Weber: Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 34

Giovanni Bottesini: Concerto No. 2 in B minor for Double Bass

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: String Symphony No. 7 in D minor

The BFO announces a new chamber music series entitled Concertino, where musicians will make their debuts as soloists. In the spotlight will be concert pieces and winners of the orchestra’s Sándor Végh Competition: this time, Rudolf Szitka and Zsolt Fejérvári.

Returning to the Italian Cultural Institute the chamber ensemble of the BFO will set the tone of the concert with Mozart’s dance-like Divertimento.

Weber, primarily known for his operas, is expertly able to showcase the personality of each instrument in his entertaining and fresh chamber music pieces, especially when it comes to the winds. He wrote several pieces for the clarinet, dedicating the majority of them to the German clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann. His concerto-like clarinet quintet demands extraordinary musical skill and incorporates the drama, playfulness and excitement of the opera.

Giovanni Bottesini, a friend of Verdi’s, was both a composer and the conductor at the premiere of Aida. The sweeping melodies of his concerto for double bass could be taken for arias in an imaginary opera from the time of Verdi, as Zsolt Fejérvári, the second soloist of the concert, observed. “For a double bass player, it is a wonderful task – and a real challenge – to ‘sing’ these beautiful melodies. Rarely is our instrument in the spotlight; its usual role is to provide the bass backing for the overall harmony of the musical fabric of the orchestra,” he says.

Mendelssohn wrote twelve string symphonies between the ages of 12 and 14. No. 7, which will wrap up the concert this evening, differs from most of the others in that it is composed of four movements. In the first, the audience will witness a heated fight emerging; in the second, we stroll along in a major key, only to then arrive at the sizzling dance of the closing movement.