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THE BELLS OF ROME

In 1863 Franz Liszt – before taking minor orders  – moved into the monastery of Madonna del Rosario in Rome to devote himself solely to contemplation and composition. In this intimate solitude his Two Legends were born: St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds inspired by the folk book 'Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi' translated into Italian in the 14th century and St. Francis of Paola walking on the waves. At his next solo recital - within the framework of the Ars Sacra programme series on September 23rd at the Accademia d'Ungheria in Rome – Balázs Fülei will play the Two Legends and another composition by Liszt: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen as well as a piece by Bach and another one by Chopin. 
Giotto: St. Francis preaching to the birds

"YOU MUST BE ABLE TO PLAY THE PIANO…"

When Dohnányi finished his Piano Concerto in E minor in 1898 he was only twenty one year old but had already earned outstanding recognition: three years earlier, for instance, the premiere of his Piano Quintet in C minor in Vienna had been promoted by Johannes Brahms himself. In 1899 with the one-movement version of his Piano Concerto in E minor the young musician won the composers' competition sponsored by the Bösendorfer piano factory in Vienna and then played the composition in the same year in Vigadó conducted by János Richter. We have learned from the memoirs of the pianist Károly Váczi: in the early 40s when Váczi was preparing for the performance of the Piano Concerto in E minor at the Liszt Academy he was complaining to Dohnányi, the conductor of the concert as well, what a difficult piece he had written. Dohnányi's laconic answer was: Well, son, you must be able to play the piano….
On September 25th Balázs Fülei will perform this composition with the Dohnányi Orchestra of Budafok in the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy, conducted by Gábor Hollerung.

Dohnányi and his disciples with Annie Fischer by his side

BARTÓK'S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 IN SZOLNOK

"This concerto by Bartók is often mentioned due to its technical difficulty and it is not an easy piece indeed. However, I'd rather point out its characteristic buoyancy and sparkling wit: Bartók is playing with notes and motives like a child turning a Rubik's cube. I think this is my favourite piano concerto." –  Balázs Fülei shared his thoughts in an interview given to MTI while preparing for the performance of this piece last January. In the new concert season starting now he will play Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 twice;  first on September 26th with the Symphonic Orchestra of Szolnok, conducted by Izaki Masahiro.
Bartók with Hans Rosbaud, the conductor of the world premiere of Piano Concerto No. 2 in Frankfurt on January 23rd, 1933

"WE HAVE IMMEDIATELY FOUND EACH OTHER"-
A SNAPSHOT FROM THE FIRST ECHO SUMMER ACADEMY

The first Echo Summer Academy in the Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó ended with a concert in an extremely pleasant atmosphere on a hot July evening. On the last day of the six-day masterclass held by Balázs Fülei and his two colleagues from the Liszt Academy all the participants had the opportunity to introduce themselves. A few of them were playing in several productions, e.g. the German pianist, Marie-Luise Bodendorff with whom we clinked our glasses and talked after the closing concert. To read the interview click here.

 
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