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Maestro Riccardo Frizza's concerts in Budapest, April 2023

Riccardo Frizza awaited in Budapest for two concerts at the helm of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in his role as Chief Conductor

17 April Grand Hall, Liszt Academy
25 April Béla Bartók National Concert Hall

Conductor Riccardo Frizza continues to offer us atypical programmes that highlight the virtuoso qualities of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a result, each time the Italian Maestro returns to conduct the Hungarian orchestra of which he has been Chief conductor since the start of the current season, everyone anticipates programmes capable of fulfilling all the expectations surrounding this ambitious artistic project.

There are two concerts scheduled for this spring: on 17 April in the prestigious Grand Hall at the Liszt Academy and on 25 April at the Müpa Béla Bartók National Concert Hall.

The first programme includes the 5 Études-tableaux by Rachmaninov, the Trittico Botticelliano by Respighi and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky-Ravel.

“I chose compositions in which the initial creative imagination does honour to the composer but also to the orchestrator who has made it his own by turning it into a symphonic version. This happened with the Études-tableaux, arranged by the composer Rachmaninov himself and with the masterpiece shared in equal measure by Mussorgsky and Ravel. The former created the wonderful Pictures with Promenade while the latter, in composing the well-known orchestral versions and uniting the extraordinary creative potential of both, showed the importance of drawing inspiration from the creativity of others. The Trittico botticelliano by Ottorino Respighi sits comfortably between these two works. It was created by the composer from Bologna for a smaller orchestra that was able to “paint” Botticelli’s lyricism with intimism and in fine detail.”

On 25 April, once again at the Müpa, Maestro Frizza will conduct a programme full of interesting “Italian-style” contributions, consisting of the Notturno Op. 70 n. 1 by Martucci, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43 by Rachmaninov and of Aus Italien Op. 16 by Richard Strauss.

“This programme opens with the elegant lyricism of Martucci’s Notturno, which expresses a musical taste free from the formal splendour of German symphonic works, yet perfect in structure (this Notturno too is the composer’s transcription of a piano piece). Following this, comes the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43 for piano and orchestra, which is one of the last compositions by Rachmaninov and one of the best-loved, most frequently cited of the Russian composer’s greatly loved works for piano and orchestra. This highly virtuoso work, which begins with the theme from the first Capriccio by Paganini, following its inspiration as it develops with a series of variations, has been entrusted to the virtuoso flair and great talent of Hungarian pianist Gergely Kovács. To end, the “symphonic fantasy” Aus Italien, composed by Richard Strauss in 1886, at the dawn of the change in form of German symphonic work that the composer was to bring about at the end of the 1800s. This is one of the reasons why Aus Italien is so important in the creative life of Strauss, who already exploited the colours and virtuosity of the orchestra with mastery and, with this fantasy, started making use of his uniquely personal symphonic style, which was to throw open the doors to the 1900s.”

Detailed programme and ticket links:

19:30 MONDAY 17 APRIL 2023

Dohnányi Season Ticket 4

Rachmaninov-Respighi: Études-Tableaux
Respighi: Trittico Botticelliano
Mussorgsky-Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 

All the works performed in this concert focus on the connection between music and spectacle, sound and visuality. At the time of the publication of Rachmaninov’s two piano series (Études-Tableaux Op. 33 and Op. 39), he refrained from specifically naming the inspirational source for his ‘picture studies’. However, later when he rearranged a few movements for Respighi’s orchestra, he revealed a few workshop secrets, thus we find descriptions such as ‘the sea and seagulls’, ‘funeral march’ and ‘Red Riding Hood and the wolf’. The composer of Trittico Botticelliano, however, made no secret – nor did Mussorgsky – of which pictures sparked his compositional imagination. Although the three paintings by Botticelli (Spring, Adoration of the Magi, The Birth of Venus) are very different from each other in their character and approach, it was precisely the musical effect inherent in the contrasts that preoccupied Respighi.

Tickets: HUF 6000/5000/4000/3500
(student and senior discount -20%)
Buy here:

19:30 TUESDAY 25 APRIL 2023

Lehel Season Ticket 5

Martucci: Notturno, Op. 70, No. 1
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Strauss: From Italy – Aus Italien, Op. 16

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Gergely Kovács (piano) 

Pianist, conductor and composer Giuseppe Martucci was an outstanding figure of late 19th century Italian music. Unlike his Italian contemporaries, as an artist he was never interested in the genre of opera. Instead, he was dedicated to pure instrumental music and it is no coincidence that he was known as the ‘Italian Brahms’. Furthermore, he was an excellent teacher and Ottorino Respighi, one of his most famous students, said of him that he was the father of the rebirth of Italian music; “one could say that the new Italian school of music was founded by Giuseppe Martucci, about whom I am always moved when I think of him”. Maestro Frizza dedicates the entire concert to the spirit of Italy, with Gergely Kovács, who took third prize at the most recent International Liszt Competition, soloist for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Tickets: HUF 6000/5000/4000/3000/2000
(student and senior discount -20%) 
Buy here:

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