Alpha and Omega

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May 2024
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Haydn wrote 104 symphonies. For Mozart, this number was 41. What Beethoven found himself faced with was a mature genre that these two great masters of his era had nearly exhausted of its possibilities. Ever serious and always utterly resolved to make an impression, Beethoven therefore knew perfectly well what a formidable task he would be taking on in presenting the audience with a symphony. His first such effort, although displaying many similarities to Haydn's output in the genre, enraged critics even from its opening chord. If only they knew what Beethoven still had in store for them! The Italian composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni said that Bach is the god, Mozart the angel and Beethoven the man - who must each fight their own way to heaven. Beethoven's oeuvre depicts this struggle, which accomplishes its objective in the Ninth Symphony, when he reaches heaven. This challenging path, this sound, this symphonic ideal, and this approach to art together became the alpha and omega for later composers. Though Beethoven wrote only nine symphonies, these were to become the culmination of a genre made great by Haydn and Mozart.

Program and cast

Conductor:

Gérard Korsten

Featuring:

soprano

Polina Pasztircsák

alto

Erika Gál

tenor

Szabolcs Brickner

bass

Krisztián Cser

Hungarian Radio Choir (choirmaster: Zoltán Pad)

Pannon Philharmonic

Palace of Arts Müpa Budapest

When Müpa Budapest, Hungary and its capital's new cultural hub, opened in 2005, it was built to represent more than 100 years of Hungarian cultural history. As a conglomeration of cultural venues, the building has no precedent in 20th century Hungarian architecture and has no peers in the whole of Central Europe.


The creators of this ambitious project, the Trigránit Development Corporation, prime contractor Arcadom Construction and the Zoboki, Demeter and Partners Architectural Office, were driven by the desire to create a new European cultural citadel as part of the new Millennium City Centre complex along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Danube waterfront. The result is a facility whose construction quality, appearance, functionality and 21st century technological infrastructure makes it ideally suited to productions of the highest standard. The building is also highly versatile and equipped to host performances of any genre and almost any scale.

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