Mandarin and Bluebeard
The Budapest Festival Orchestra is performing two of Bartók's main works on 9, 10 and 11 December: Bluebeard’s Castle and The Miraculous Mandarin.
A few thoughts from the conductor, Iván Fischer: "Bartók's figures are sensitive, delicate creatures enveloped in a lean, rough crust. At first glance, the girl is a vulgar prostitute while the Mandarin is a scary, alarming and stiff persona. It takes some time for them to open up, but when they do and get to know each other better it transpires that the reason they were perhaps so unapproachable was they are influenced by deeper and more honest feelings than is the norm. The Mandarin is capable of such powerful love that enables him to cheat death on three occasions. The Mandarin is thus a distant relation of Bluebeard, who also has a bad reputation with people gossiping about women vanishing and being brutally killed. Judith senses blood everywhere, but eventually has to realise that her new husband is not a murderer, just a man who cannot forget and who guards his previous wives in the recesses of his heart."
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