Budafest | Jeremy Young’s Chamber Festival Picks
We’re about to take a journey through Hungary’s rich musical heritage for Budafest: RNCM Chamber Festival, exploring works from 1800 to the present day.
Eminent musicians including Gábor Takács-Nagy, the Keller and Talich Quartets, Kathryn Stott and RNCM alumni the Aurora Percussion Duo will perform alongside other renowned performers from across Europe and we will be showcasing exceptional students from the RNCM and Chetham’s School of Music.
The Festival will include the masterworks of Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Ernő Dohnányi, György Kurtág and György Ligeti, lesser known gems by Karl Goldmark, Ferenc Farkas and Sándor Veress, and composers such as Haydn, Brahms and Liszt who were all influenced by Hungarian folk music.
To get us into the spirit of the csárdás, we asked the festival’s artistic director, Jeremy Young, for his top five festival picks:
1. Bartók – Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
For me, this piece represents the pinnacle of Bartók’s development. A refined, individual voice with profound structural integrity and expressive intensity.
Chethams and RNCM students join forces under the baton of Hungarian maestro, Gábor Takács-Nagy.
Hear the piece for yourself in the Budafest evening concert on Sat 11 Mar, featuring Gábor Takács-Nagy (director), Kathryn Stott and Jeremy Young (piano) with Zelkova String Quartet, Aurea String Quartet and Aurora Percussion Duo.
2. Ligeti – Trio for French Horn, Violin and Piano
An extremely complex and virtuosic work that is rarely heard in concert halls. A homage to Brahms, Ligeti takes us on an exhilarating journey through his unique musical landscape. Hungarian folk music, experimentalism and western Classical tradition collide. Captivating listening.
Hear this piece in Musica Ricercata on Sat 11 Mar, 12 – 1pm.
3. Haydn – Trio in G major Hob XV/25
Haydn’s Gypsy Rondo is a trio I love and have played and taught many times over my career. Bristling with energy, we hear Haydn’s take on the Hungarian ‘Verbunkos’ recruiting dances that whipped people into a frenzy and encouraged them to sign up for the army.
Hear this piece in Serenades on Fri 10 Mar, 2 – 4pm.
4. Bartók – String Quartet No 5
The first Bartók Quartet I fell in love with. Maybe because of the thrilling, sometimes amusing Finale; or perhaps because the complex Bulgarian rhythms in the third movement are so similar to the Bartók Mikrokosmos that I learnt as a child. Really exciting music and a thrill to have the legendary Keller Quartet at the RNCM to perform it for us.
This piece features in the Keller Quartet concert on Sun 12 Mar, 7.30pm.
5. Veress – Tre Quadri for Piano Trio
A new discovery for me. Veress was one of Ligeti’s teachers and was himself a student of Kodály and Bartók. This is a very atmospheric and compelling work that is inspired by paintings of Lorrain, Poussin and Bruegel.
Performed on Sun 12 Mar, 10 – 11.30am by our Christopher Rowland Ensemble of the Year 2016, the Louko Trio.