Jewels of Czech and Hungarian Music – Pavel Kaspar Piano

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Concert duration: 30min

For the first streaming concert during the corona crisis, we chose works by Czech and Hungarian composers written between 1880 and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Bohemian and Hungarian musicians were known for playing with great joy, passion and abandon.

One reason for the great significance placed on folkloric music in Bohemia and Hungary may have been the centuries of the political dependence of high culture on the Austro-Hungarian ruling dynasty. Yet in folklore, a national cultural form was able to develop, one with which composers such as Smetana, Dvořák, Suk and Janáček, as well as violinist-composers such as Hubay and Vecsey, identified. Their works for violin and piano give the impression of being songs without words, pervaded by memories, foreshadowing, and a touch of melancholy. Memories of their pastoral homeland in Transylvania also characterise Sylvia’s opening song from the operetta *Die Csárdásfürstin (The Csárdás Princess)* by Kalman, which represents both the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the end of the Golden Age of operetta.


Thomas Albertus Irnberger, violin (

Pavel Kašpar, piano (

Brigitta Simon, soprano (