Thursday 8 Feb 2018, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907
Juraj Valčuha conductor
Evgeni Bozhanov piano
Kodály Dances of Galánta
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
Bartók Concerto For Orchestra
Bartók’s witty Concerto for Orchestra darts and dives across the orchestra, spotlighting each section as melodies race from one instrument to the next. Bartók described his Concerto for Orchestra as ‘apart from the jesting second movement, a gradual transition from the sternness of the first movement… to the life-assertion of the last one…’. This ‘jesting’ refers to Bartók’s tongue in cheek quotation of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, which Bartók personally detested and made sure to give his borrowed theme an orchestral raspberry.
A lifelong friend of Bartók’s and fellow collector of Hungarian folk tunes, Kodály crafted his Dances of Galánta from the memory of a gypsy band he had heard as a child. Filled with evocative melodies and glittering colours, the Dances play with the traditional verbunkos style, in which alternating slow and fast passages end by give way to irresistible foot stamping.