Copland: El salon Mexico
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major / J. Palojtay /
Ravel: Spanish rhapsody
Tchaikovsky-Ellington: Nutcracker Suite
János Palojtay- Pianist
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Invigorating rhythms will be the focus of the penultimate concert of the Symphony season ticket, while the musical traditions of the New World and Europe will come into a dialectical relationship with each other. The show is framed by two exciting representatives of American music. The first to be performed is Aaron Copland’s (1900–1990) one-movement symphonic composition, El Salón México, completed in 1936. Copland visited Mexico several times in the 1930s, and the title of the piece also refers to a well-known nightclub in Mexico City. According to Copland’s autobiography, there were three halls in this place: one for the upper classes, one for the workers, one for the barefoot peasants. The music makes it almost perceptible as we move from one room to another, alternating between musical styles. Tchaikovsky’s deservedly popular Nutcracker Suite is this time played in Duke Ellington’s (1899–1974) exciting jazz adaptation (1960). The well-known melodies show a whole new face under the veil of jazzy tones and rhythms. Maurice Ravel’s Spanish Rhapsody, composed in 1908, is the composer’s first large-scale orchestral work. During these years, several Spanish-themed works emerged from his workshop, such as The Shepherd’s Clock (L’heure espagnole). The first movement of the piece articulates Prélude à la nuit, an exciting netting of the sounds of the night. The second and third movements are dance, Malagueña and Habanera, respectively. The finale is elevated, with music in C major that incorporates the atmosphere of the holiday (Feria). Ravel himself declared the piano concerto in G major, written in 1931, to be “cheerful and glittering, without seeking depth or dramatic influence”. The opening and closing movement, full of bubbly, flickering tones, really radiates a carefree, almost superficial joy, but the second movement of the concerto, with its moving monologue for solo piano and then softly engaging orchestral instruments, leads to the deepest mysteries of the soul. The soloist of the work will be the excellent pianist János Palojtay.