Budapest Festival Orchestra
Folk and gypsy influence evident in programme of two concerts
This article is from 2008.
Starting off with a programme inspired by gypsy music and Hungarian folk melodies, the Budapest Festival Orchestra give two full orchestral concerts in the last week of the Festival plus two presented by some of their soloists. Featuring some rather unusual scene-setting, the first orchestral programme is introduced by authentic gypsy music for violin and cimbalom, the folk-instrument with strings hit by wooden or metal mallets. Labelled ‘Improvisation’, no-one, including the two musicians themselves, quite knows what will be played. Genuine traditional gypsy music depends of a number of variable factors, such as the musicians’ mood, the audience, the venue, maybe even the weather. The critical outcome is not so much the tunes they perform, but the ways in which they are ornamented. Sticking more closely to the score will be founding conductor Ivan Fischer in the colourful and popular versions of Hungarian dances by Brahms, Liszt and Sarasate.
Usher Hall, 473 2000, Sat 23 and Mon 25, 8pm, from £10; Queen’s Hall, 473 2000, Sun 24, 2pm and Tue 26, 11am, from £7.