B. Bartók Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
F. Liszt Les Préludes
The program dedicated to Budapest opens with Symphony No. 81 by Joseph Haydn, created during the period of the composer’s service at the court of the Austro-Hungarian Prince Miklós Eszterházy. Followed by Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta by Béla Bartók, which continued its life in films such as Being John Malkovich and The Shining. The program is rounded off by Les Préludes or Beginnings, the third in a series of thirteen symphonic poems by Franz Liszt. The music was composed as an overture for the choir cycle TheFour Elements, and then the author revised the work, inspired by the Ode from the Poetic Meditations by the French poet Lamartine. The following program commentary accompanied the work: it illustrates the development of a person from the earliest youth to maturity and is often perceived as a sketch of the author’s musical autobiography. The premiere performance of Les Préludes introduced a new genre to the music scene, which is inscribed in the history of music as the earliest example of a symphonic poem.