Two composer-geniuses, 11 concerts and an entire day of uplifting musical experiences, all online! The 11th joint musical marathon from the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Müpa Budapest will take place on 6 February with performances of the works of Liszt and Berlioz, including some truly diverse selections. The free programme includes everything from solo piano concerts to a matinée concert for children, and from choral works to symphonic poems, with a wide variety of compositions for our audiences to enjoy – all from the comfort of your own home.
Since 2008, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Müpa Budapest have organised marathons to present the best of the work of either a single or two outstanding composers. Looking back at nearly a decade and a half of history, this event series, which enjoys an unparalleled festival atmosphere, has on each occasion attracted incredible interest from lovers of classical music. The concerts take place after the other in a series lasting the entire day, from the morning until late evening. After presentations of the works of Schumann and Mendelssohn, then Debussy and Ravel, we can now enjoy some of the most remarkable pieces from the oeuvres of Liszt and Berlioz, two composers who were truly emblematic of the 19th century. Unlike previous years, however, instead of joining us at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall and the Festival Theatre, you will be able to watch the event on your monitor as part of the Müpa Home broadcast series, with the entire run of concerts moving to a virtual space as a result of the special circumstances.
"Each year, Müpa Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra's joint marathon is a notable, special day and an intimate shared experience for both the spectators and participants. The fact that – in this unusual year – the event is taking place online, and that the audience will experience the event through digital interfaces, may at first feel like a compromise, yet in reality it is far more an opportunity. We hope that even more people than usual will be able to enjoy a taste of the genius and creativity of Liszt and Berlioz: not just here in Hungary but in countless places around the world. Let us see this unusual format as a new possibility, let us gaze at our screens in amazement at the talent of these two musical giants and Hungary's extraordinary orchestras and groups, trusting in the fact that we will soon see each other in person at Müpa Budapest once again," said Csaba Káel, Müpa Budapest's CEO.
"Liszt and Berlioz were innovators. At that time, everything was changing. The artist no longer served the tastes of the aristocracy; instead he could be creative, he could listen to his inner voice. It is that which led to the emergence of the idea of the soloist, among other things. A contemporary critic seethingly wrote that Liszt 'is so arrogant that he places his piano on a podium, playing it alone for the entire evening.' Paganini performed his violin concerts standing in the centre of the stage, while the orchestra accompanied him from down in the pit. Berlioz even expressed the fanatical approach of the artist in his Symphonie fantastique. This is how Romanticism evolved, an art of instincts and powerful emotions. During the marathon, we would like to provide you with a taste of that approach,” – explained Iván Fischer, the founder and musical director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
In addition to two of Liszt's piano concertos and his symphonic poem Prometheus, over the course of the day the programme will include not only a performance of Berlioz's aforementioned Symphonie fantastique, but also jazz reworkings of Liszt's choral works and several pieces from the French composer. You can enjoy listening to Gergely Bogányi, Dávid Báll, Zoltán Fejérvári, József Balog, János Palojtay and Ádám Balogh playing the piano, Máté Szűcs's viola, the Jazzical Trio and the Szent Efrém Male Choir. The MÁV Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage under the baton of Daniel Boico, the Danubia Orchestra Óbuda under Máté Hámori, and the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra under Kálmán Berkes, while the Pannon Philharmonic will be conducted by András Vass and the Budapest Festival Orchestra's event series closing concert will be led by Iván Fischer.