Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 80 in D minor, Hob. I: 80
Valery Strukow: Concerto for Tuba
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D major (“Haffner”), K. 251
Gábor Takács-Nagy has endless energy and an unbridled imagination when it comes to the music of Haydn and Mozart. Frenzy, airy elegance and Mozart’s genius are complemented at the second concert of our series with a unique tuba concerto, where everything could change at a moment’s notice.
The first guest conductor of the Festival Orchestra begins the concert with Symphony No. 80 of the master of the genre, composed by Haydn at Eszterháza. The composer’s sense of humour is on display several times in the piece: after the intense emotions so typical of Sturm und Drang sweep the listener away, they are swiftly, almost shockingly replaced by quaint melodies of sunshine. And while the stormy mood does not pass completely, light comedy does triumph at the end of the symphony.
The second piece of the concert is truly a delicacy, played by a finalist of the orchestra’s Sándor Végh Competition, József Bazsinka. The BFO’s musician calls Strukow’s tuba concerto a tribute to the tuba master Mel Culbertson. “The first movement projects such endless might, with excited sixteenth note beams chasing one another between the orchestra and the soloist. But when lyrical melodies also join the chase, everything changes as though by magic. The second movement is a rare gem: something so nice that people only dream of. It is like seeing a full moon in its most content calm – a real ‘full-moon movement’. It is all about touching, blessings, peace, love and gratefulness. The third movement is happy, liberated and playful, like the marching of happy young pioneers.”
Mozart composed the bright and celebratory Serenade in D major for the wedding of Elisabeth Haffner, daughter of the affluent mayor of Salzburg. The light and elegant piece, incorporating violin solos, is an important work of the gallant style. According to musicologist H. C. Robbins Landon, this was Mozart’s first great orchestral work – that is, the first in which “technical ability and musical genius are perfectly wedded.”