Sunday Concert

The Budapest Festival Orchestra in Concert

Friday, October 28, 2011
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When you think of the world's great orchestras, history is inevitably part of the equation.  Whether it's the Leipzig and Dresden ensembles that trace their origins to the 18th Century, or comparitavely younger American orchestras that came of age in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, it's easy to think that it takes decades and decades, if not centuries, to forge the legacy of a great orchestra.

But then there's the Budapest Festival Orchestra.  With its home base in a city rich in history and culture but, largely because of its Communist past, is still overlooked by Americans, the Budapest Festival Orchestra is widely considered to be among the very best ensembles to be performing today, on par with the Berlin Philharmonic (founded in 1882), the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam (founded in 1888), and, yes, our own Boston Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1881).

And yet, the group played its first concert in 1983, after being founded by Iván Fischer (pictured) and Zoltán Kocsis.  It's impossible to say what accounts for the meteoric rise of the orchestra, but it's safe to assume that visionary leadership, incredible dedication on the part of all involved, and that deep cultural legacy of Budapest have all played a part.

Now Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra bring their short but powerful legacy to New York City's Carnegie Hall, and you can hear the concert on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 3pm on Classical New England.  The program includes music by the orchestra's countryman, Béla Bartók, for which they're joined by the remarkable pianist András Schiff (another Hungarian), and Franz Schubert.

Full program:

Bartók:  Hungarian Peasant Songs

Bartók:  Piano Concerto No. 2

Franz Schubert:  Symphony No. 9 in C, the "Great"

Full program information and audio samples available at Carnegie Hall

Kremer Plays Schumann

Friday, October 28, 2011
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Lockhart Conducts Mahler's Third In Concert

Thursday, September 15, 2011
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Mark Elder Conducts Delius, Vaughan Williams, And More

Saturday, June 11, 2011
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Boston concertgoers experienced Sir Mark Elder's total passion for and commitment to the music of Frederick Delius with the Boston Symphony Orchestra earlier this season, adding to earlier performances he's given here of music by Edward Elgar and other British masters.

This Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert offers a succinct survey of four of England's best.  

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

On the program:

Frederick Delius - A Song of Summer

Sir Michael Tippett - Concerto for Double String Orchestra

Ralph Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending
with violinist Elena Urioste

Edward Elgar - Symphony No. 2

MTT in Chicago

Friday, April 8, 2011
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Michael Tilson Thomas (left) conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concert:

Ruth Crawford Seeger - Andante for Strings

Alban Berg - Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6

Johannes Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 1, with soloist Yefim Bronfman

Also, John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 3, the "Rhenish"

Gwyneth Wentink and the Boston Philharmonic in Concert

Thursday, March 31, 2011
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The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Zander welcome the Dutch harpist Gwyneth Wentink as soloist in Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera's Harp Concerto.  One reviewer wrote of this performance, "Gwyneth Wentink and Boston Philharmonic penetrated profoundly into the unusual space of this improbable concerto, both running away with its uncommon personal and mystical folkloric bent." 

Benjamin Zander talked with Brian Bell about Ginastera's concerto and Wentink.

Benjamin Zander on Ginastera's Harp Concerto and harpist Gwyneth Wentink

Also on the program, Zander and the orchestra perform Gershwin's An American in Paris:

Benjamin Zander on Gershwin's An American in Paris

Silvestre Revueltas's Sensemayá has been described by some as a Mexican equivalent of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.  Zander and Bell offer a guided tour:

Benjamin Zander on Revueltas's Sensemayá

Finally, the orchestra also performs The Rite of Spring itself, a piece that Zander returns to for the third time:

Benjamin Zander on Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring

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