Yefim Bronfman is performing Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, which makes a colourful Eastern European programme in combination with evocative works by Dvořák and Kodály under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.
Pianistic fireworks are Liszt’s trademark, but his Second Piano Concerto is more ‘story-line’ than ‘theatrics’. The different themes behave like characters in a novel who are carried away in a romantic narrative, especially when performed by the brilliant veteran pianist Yefim Bronfman. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda is right at home with this repertoire, returning to the Concertgebouworkest after his impressive first appearance in 2018 and the In memoriam for Mariss Jansons in March 2020.
The œuvres of Liszt, Dvořák and Kodály invariably reveal something of their Eastern European origins: an exotic rhythm, a snippet of gypsy music, the atmosphere of unspoilt nature. Dvořák’s symphonic poem The Noon Witch proves the Bohemian composer’s power to tell a story using Slavonic flavoured melodies and dance rhythms. Zoltán Kodály composed his ‘Peacock’ Variations for the Concertgebouworkest in 1938 to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary. The premiere of this very Hungarian, exotic-sounding piece was a big hit in Amsterdam. Time to get reacquainted!