Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 20 in C major, Hob. I:20
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major (“Jeunehomme”), K. 271;
Symphony No. 36 in C major (“Linz”), K. 425
“Whenever I play Haydn or Mozart with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, I feel like getting younger,” says Gábor Takács-Nagy, who continues interpreting the inexhaustible symphonic oeuvre of the two masters, this time together with the brilliant pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.
The conductor of the evening believes that the music of Haydn and Mozart is medicine for the soul, which cured his elderly mother of a serious illness several years ago. He adds that no matter how desperate he may feel, these two composers have the ability to brighten his mood and raise his spirits. “There is an incredible amount of positive energy and vitality in both of them,” says Takács-Nagy, who has been drawn to the two composers since his childhood. It is this joy of life that the two symphonies on the programme, both composed in bright C major, will exude, along with Mozart’s piano concerto.
Haydn sneaked a touch of mischief into the majority of his symphonies. In the case of this Symphony in C major, the trick is a formal one: both sections of the two-part finale constituteminiature sonata forms. Of course, this is a special joke only the most trained ears can catch; the composer did this mostly to entertain himself.
Mozart also included a touch of novelty in his Piano Concerto in E-flat major, which is mostly referred to as „Jeunehomme” (a misinterpretation of the name of Victoire Jenamy, a talented pianist). Early in the opening movement, the piano descends impatiently upon the orchestra, while in the other two movements the atmosphere is decidedly operatic. The soloist for the evening will be the French Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, the last musician to be discovered by Georg Solti and a protégé of György Cziffra. He is a return guest of the BFO.
“Since I do not have a single symphony with me, I shall write a new one in a hurry,” Mozart wrote his father when, recently married and travelling with his wife from Salzburg to Vienna, he spent a night and gave a concert in Linz. This is how the symphony “Linz” came to be, which, despite the rush, turned out to be a colourful, entertaining and witty piece.