Lukács season ticket 3
Franz Liszt Tasso
Franz Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major
Karl Goldmark Symphony No. 1 (“Rustic Wedding”), op. 26
Ádám Balogh - piano
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
János Kovács - conductor
In 1849, Weimar celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Goethe. One of the works they performed was the poet’s drama Torquato Tasso, for which Franz Liszt was commissioned to write an overture. The composer, however, took his inspiration not from Goethe’s drama, but from Lord Byron’s poem The Lament of Tasso, a picture of a poet oppressed by despotism. Liszt set down the work’s central motif on a trip to Venice, after he heard the gondoliers there singing the first few lines of Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. The overture was expanded into a symphonic poem in 1854 through the addition of a quasi Menuetto middle section. Liszt surpassed even Byron, as he closes the work with an image of the poet being glorified in Rome after his death.
The Hungarian composer reworked the Piano Concerto in E-flat major a total of five times between 1836 and 1856 before the piece gained its final form. In the words of Bartók, it was “the first perfect realisation of cyclic sonata form, with common themes being treated on the variation principle.” The main reasons for the work’s exceptional popularity are the brilliant piano part, the dense format, and the sparkling instrumentation brimming with chamber music influences. The soloist for the evening, Ádám Balogh, took second place at the 2019 Bartók World Competition.
Karl Goldmark’s five-movement first symphony, Rustic Wedding, was conceived in the spirit of a programmatic symphony along the lines of those of Berlioz and Liszt, and as a symphonic poem. Completed in 1875, the work was premièred in Vienna by Hans Richter. Brahms had words of praise for the piece: “That is the best thing you have done so far; clear-cut and faultless, it sprang into being a finished thing, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter.”