Iván Fischer conducts Monteverdi, Bartók, and Schubert — With Vilde Frang
Budapest Festival Orchestra
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Norwegian violin virtuoso Vilde Frang "has the knack of breathing life into every note” (BBC Music Magazine), and in this stellar outing with the magnificent Budapest Festival Orchestra and gold-standard conductor Iván Fischer, she brings her exceptional talents to Bartók's romantic, mysterious Violin Concerto No. 1—a work not published until over a decade after the composer's death, perhaps owing to Bartók's romantic rejection by the violinist Stefi Geyer, to whom he dedicated the work. The two movements are meant to evoke different sides of Geyer, the first "idealized… celestial and inward," and the second "cheerful, witty, amusing." (Bartók decided against the originally planned third movement, which would have depicted the "indifferent, cool, silent" Geyer.)
Surrounding Frang's blockbuster Bartók is a beautifully planned program: to begin the evening, a stop in the 17th century with a selection of madrigal-adjacent Scherzi musicali by Claudio Monteverdi, published the same year as the premiere of his opera L'Orfeo in 1607; then as a magnificent conclusion, Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C Major, nicknamed "The Great" for its length, its grandeur, and the paradigm-shifting scope of its ambition.
Photo Vilde Frang © Marco Borggreve | Photo Iván Fischer © Istvan Kurcsak