Iván Fischer to conduct Concertgebouw Orchestra in Bartók’s three piano concertos

Three leading Hungarian pianists will take turn as soloists
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
On Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 April, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will be performing a unique programme containing all three piano concerts by Béla Bartók. Honorary guest conductor Iván Fischer will be leading the orchestra. The three soloists are leading Hungarian pianists and Bartók experts Zoltán Fejérváni, János Balász and Dénes Várjon.
 
Due to the way the concertos are conceived, the orchestra set-up is different for each work.
After all, in each of the concertos, written in different phases in Bartók’s career, the zeitgeist is reflected in completely new ideas about the relation between solo instrument and orchestra. In the markedly rhythmic First Piano Concerto (1926), the piano is almost an extension of the percussion section surrounding it. In the ominous, even aggressive Second Piano Concerto (1931) Bartók places the wind players near the piano. Towards the end of his life, Bartók wrote the exceedingly mild Third Piano Concerto (1945), which possesses a classical clarity and simplicity absent from his earlier work.
 
Prior to the concert at 7.15 p.m. Iván Fischer will disclose some of his ideas about the programme during an introduction by Hans Haffmans,
 
After the concert, the orchestra’s managing director, Dominik Winterling, will speak with the three soloists during a Meet the Artists.