170125-philippe-jarousskyOn 19 February, the great concert hall of the MÜPA in Budapest will be a place of celebration: one of the best singers of our time, arguably the most wonderful contra-tenor, Philippe Jaroussky sings opera arias by Händel with accompaniment by the Ensemble Artaserse.

Instead of heaping accolades on this most outstanding singer, who has effortlessly been conquering the hearts of his audiences and the minds of music critics for over a decade on world stages, let me just quote the programme here:

Radamisto – Overture
Flavio – Son pur felice… Bel contento
Siroe – Son stanco… Deggio morire, o stelle
Instrumental piece
Imeneo – Se potessero i sospir miei
Radamisto – Vieni d’empieta… Vile, se mi dai morte
Giustino – Chi mi chiama alla gloria… Se parla nel mio cor
Tolomeo – Inumano fratel… Stille amare
Instrumental piece
Radamisto – Ombra cara
Flavio – Privarmi ancora… Rompo i lacci

It goes without saying that we envy all those who manage to get in. Hope you can give us an account too.

Latest: tickets have sold out. Of course …

by Z.J.S and P.S.

I’m afraid I have to start by telling my dear readers about a recent loss in the Hungarian (and world) music life: Zoltán Kocsis, one of the best pianists in the world, a professor at the Hungarian Academy of Music, teacher, conductor, music director of the Hungarian National Philharmonics, died on 6th November.

I heard him last just a few years ago at a concert, but the last couple of years he struggled with his health. As I practically grew up with him and several budding geniuses of my childhood years, I feel a part of my has gone.

In honour of his memory, an interesting concert takes place at 19:30 in the National Concert Hall (MUPA) in Budapest on 18th November. Beside Brahms’ Second Symphony, the really interesting piece to be performed is going to be F. Busoni’s Piano Concerto Op. 39 in the rendering of Kun Woo Paik, a Korean pianist living in Paris, who was born 6 years before Kocsis. I’ve just met him as a pianist listening to this same piece on YouTube and I liked it very much. In actual fact, although I don’t like the Busoni concert as much as Dohnanyi  or Bortkiewicz (see my earlier posts about Piano Concertos Almost Forgotten), I’d love to listen to anyone willing to play such a rare piece at such an important event.

The other interesting concert takes place at the same venue just a day later, at 20:00 on 19th November. At that concert, Ravi Shankar’s famous second daughter, Anoushka Shankar plays Indian sitar music of her latest album, Land of Gold. A very refined musician with an open mind to various musical worlds, I’m sure those able to get to her concert this coming Saturday will be treated to a very emotional evening as this material is about a lot of human tragedies. Brace yourself for catharsis.

Those who can’t make it to Budapest, could still buy tickets to her concerts of the following days in Innsbruck, Zurich or Geneve under the last link.

by P.S.

It really is going to be a unique event, though not in the classical genre: an excellent young Hungarian jazz pianist, Oláh Czumó Árpád, is giving a concert with his quartet at 20:00 on Sunday, 3rd April 2016, for which not only the quartet’s composition, but also its programme is completely new.

The members of the quartet: Oláh Tzumo Árpád (piano and keyboards), Melissa Aldana, Jure Pukl (saxophone), Josh Ginsburg (contrabass), Kyle Poole (percussions), had met mostly in America, around the time Oláh was studying jazz at Berklee College of Music. There and at the Thelonious Monk Institute, Oláh studied or cooperated with Babos Gyula, Borlai Gergő, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard on recordings, while also winning several prestigious jazz awards. Melissa Aldana of Chili won the first prize of the Thelonious Monk Institute.

Not that Oláh had not been an excellent talented Hungarian jazz pianist before. His “My Time” from 2006 is among my favourite jazz records, where he was also the composer. For this coming concert he has composed new pieces, and knowing the quality of the early recording, I’m sure I’ll miss this concert sorely. If my reader has the time and opportunity, he/she will definitely have the money for the ticket as well, as the most expensive one costs less than 10 Euros if still available. No money has even been spent better, except perhaps equally well.

A bit more information can be found here by those being able to understand Hungarian. Hope you will enjoy the concert.

by P.S.