Kobayashi season ticket / 4
Thursday, 22 April 2021, 7:30 pm
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Straussiana
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35
***Richard Strauss: Aus Italien, op. 16
Barnabás Kelemen violin
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Christoph Altstaedt
Plenty of connections link the two composers being played in this concert: just like Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss considered Erich Wolfgang Korngold, his junior by 33 years and the son of renowned Viennese critic Julius Korngold, to be a child genius. Both of them were virtuosos of orchestration and both of them were representatives of Post-Romanticism. The title "Straussiana" has a playful dual meaning, referring to both Richard Strauss and to Johann Strauss Jr., the "waltz king", who was not related to Richard and to whose memory Korngold pays tribute in this late work of his.
Barnabás Kelemen is a world-famous soloist, chamber musician and leader of a string quartet who has performed numerous classical and contemporary works. He has a relation of long standing with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Bartók New Series one of its pillars. Bursting with joie de vivre and overflowing with melodiousness, Korngold's Violin Concerto in D major offers an opportunity to marvel at his virtuosity and temperament. Korngold wrote Straussiana, the other work of his that we will be hearing this evening, in 1953, four years before his death, in tribute to the great composer of waltzes, incorporating works Strauss wrote for the stage like Fürstin Ninetta, Cagliostro in Wien and Ritter Pasman. Richard Strauss's youthful symphonic poem Aus Italien is an opulently scored journey of sensual beauty through Rome, Sorrento and Naples. In the finalé, Strauss employs the famous Neapolitan classic Funiculì, Funiculà, erroneously believing it to be a folk song. This mistake led to a copyright infringement suit, which was won by the writer of the song, Luigi Denza. The conductor for the evening, the 41-year-old German maestro Christoph Altstaedt – the older brother of Nicolas Altstaedt, who is a familiar presence here in Hungary as well – is a recognised interpreter of both the operatic and symphonic repertoire.