Ludwig van Beethoven:
Egmont Overture, Op. 84
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
About the event
The Budapest Festival Orchestra’s concert this evening will once again feature a diverse line-up, bringing the audience works by Beethoven, Sibelius and Brahms. While dating back to roughly the same period, the pieces represent three entirely different universe. The soloist is Nicola Benedetti, known for her daring performances.
The opening piece will be the Overture to Ludwig van Beethoven’s incidental music to Goethe’s play, Egmont. The play is about the fight for liberty. That theme was particularly relevant to the composer, who lived in Vienna occupied by the French, but victims of any oppression can identify with it. The composition, rich in orchestral colours, melodies and contrasts is still emotionally stirring but also brings hope.
Jean Sibelius’s only concerto also offers similar variety in its melodies. “I have got wonderful themes for the violin concerto,” the composer wrote about his piece. The version we know today was conducted at its first performance by none other than Strauss. Sibelius, who had trained to be a violinist, had a thorough knowledge of the instrument and thus composed one of the most comfortable, yet most challenging solos for the violin in the history of music literature. Like the composer, the Scottish Nicola Benedetti is also in stunning unity with her violin; among others, The Times has written about the fusion between the player and her instrument, as well as her risk-taking performances.
The programme will be closed by a great solution: the answer to the crisis of composing symphonies after Beethoven. It took Johannes Brahms more than 20 years to plan and compose his Symphony No. 1 – sometimes dubbed Beethoven’s 10th. The piece has references to the great predecessor at several points and the kinship was also admitted by the composer himself. Brahms’s music unites relief, struggle and passion.