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Kazushi Ono / Wouter Van Vaerenbergh

Ligeti & Bartók

Brussels Philharmonic

Traditional folk melodies, intricate rhythms, and innovative techniques form a rich musical foundation shared by the grandmasters Béla Bartók and György Ligeti.

Enthralled by electronic music, Ligeti crafted his own unique musical language. The polyrhythms he pioneered possess intricate structures and are entirely distinct, with his piano concerto serving as a quintessential illustration. He regarded it as one of his most intricate and technically demanding compositions, while others may consider it his most provocative work.

While the title of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra may initially appear somewhat contradictory, it is indeed apt - Bartók grants each instrument group within the 100-piece orchestra its own moment in the spotlight. Like a skilled general, he reunites the troops at the piece’s conclusion, culminating in an exhilarating finale.

Following its premiere in New York in 1944, Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra quickly conquered Europe, thanks to the Brussels Philharmonic's precursor, the Grand Symphony Orchestra, which performed the European premiere in 1946 in Paris. Bartók expressed particular enthusiasm for the performance: "I can hardly find the words to express my admiration for the orchestra and its conductor, Mr. André. The orchestra is among the finest in the world..."

Flagey, Brussels Philharmonic

Behind the Music: Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra

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