One whole day, eleven concerts, a marathon experience of music and two iconic composers. When it comes to Ravel and Debussy, it seems you must always choose: whether the question is which of them was greater, which of them was more popular or which of them was more French, you generally have to make a choice. Fortunately, this time you don’t need to. At the joint musical marathon hosted by the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Müpa Budapest, for an entire day the music of both composers will take the stage with back-to-back concerts. Tickets for the 3 February 2019 Debussy–Ravel marathon go on sale 6 November at 10 a.m.
One more chance to immerse yourself in the world of a composer for far longer than a single concert could afford. A single day with so much sensuality, and so many impressions, atmospheres and colours. First up, the Amadinda Percussion Group sets the tone for the twelfth joint musical marathon hosted by Müpa Budapest and the BFO, bringing new colour to the classical line-up with Javanese and Balinese gamelan music. We continue our journey by drifting away on Debussy’s La Mer (The Sea) with the help of the MÁV Symphony Orchestra and conductor Péter Csaba; the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok will then perform The Afternoon of a Faun as interpreted by Gábor Hollerung. Their concert features a performance of Nocturnes in collaboration with the Pro Musica Girls’ Choir.
Concerto Budapest, conducted by András Keller, then sweeps the audience from Debussy’s Island of Joy to The Submerged Cathedral. The Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra performs Daphnis et Chloe and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, with Liszt Prize-winning pianist József Balog, a regular of concert tours throughout Europe and America, at the keyboard. As has become traditional, concert series artistic director Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra plays the Marathon’s concluding concert, including a performance of Ravel’s Bolero.
Children may immerse themselves in the Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite), while fans of chamber music will have the chance at the Müpa Festival Theatre to take in performers such as multiple award-winning violinist Barnabás Kelemen; Argentinian pianist José Gallardo; renowned music educator and pianist Ferenc Rados; or Chloé Briot, the young French mezzo soprano described by international critics as “talented and breathtaking,” who is accompanied by her fellow Frenchman Vincent Balse on the piano. The musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra also take the stage with a chamber music production, featuring the flute and harp in principal roles.
In previous years, the joint marathon hosted by the BFO and Müpa Budapest has spotlighted the works of Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven, Bartók, Mozart, Schubert, Dvořák, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn and Schumann, Brahms and most recently Leonard Bernstein.
In addition to the programmes above, students from the Liszt Academy will be performing free concerts in the Glass Hall throughout the day, while marathon visitors have the chance to watch screenings in the Müpa Budapest presentation hall and visit the exhibit in the Flag Hall.
The marathon day will feature eleven concerts of forty-five minutes each at Müpa Budapest. Chamber pieces will be performed in the Festival Theatre, with the orchestral pieces performed in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall.
Tickets cost HUF 1500 per concert. Purchase tickets to three performances, and see the fourth one free.