Supported by Hungarofest KLASSZ Music Office, the KLASSZ Talents Gala concert took place for the third time in 2011. Based on our experiences at Eötvös 10 on 8 June, we had better remember the names of these five young musicians: Balázs Alpár, Éva Móga, Fruzsina László, István Lajkó and Gergely Madaras.
Balázs Alpár is a young composer, who has also been awarded several times as the leader of Fele Királyság band and Fugato Orchestra. We have mostly heard his name in connection with crossover projects, but this time he presented us a plain and unaffected string quartet piece, Nalvorelda, which we had already been familiar with from earlier (and it is also available on YouTube). Therefore we were somewhat dissappointed that he did not show the products of his half-semester spent at the University of Music in Vienna instead.
Éva Móga also completed her scholarship studies in Vienna, where she attended a violin course in Baroque music. As there are no early music courses in Hungary at the moment (György Vashegyi’s course starts only in September this year), this opportunity meant more than complementary studies for Móga. She gave a sweeping and passionate performance of Vilsmayr’s Partita No.1 for solo with great sense of style. If only she could have played a chamber piece or a solo with a chamber orchestra on period instruments, we could have appreciated her extraordinary talent even more.
Similarly to 2010, this year the jury also supported a saxophone player in the KLASSZ Program. Fruzsina László graduated from the University of Debrecen as the student of Levente Puskás, and since there are no higher study opportunities for saxophone in Hungary, she also had to go abroad (to Padua) for that. She played Villa Lobos’s Fantasy – but because she played sitting, reading the scores, and the stage was also quite small, the performance could not be really spectacular, unfortunately. The accompanying Concerto Budapest appeared to be rather unfamiliar with the Spanish composer’s work, although it is not surprising, regarding the low number of classical saxophone concerts in Hungary.
After the interval, István Lajkó came on stage to play Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G major with Concerto Budapest. Lajkó’s career has been steadily on the rise, and the half-semester he spent with his former teacher, Matti Raikallio at the Juilliard School in New York will probably add to that. He plays in a very sensitive way and has a chiselled technique, which already make him a fully competent pianist, a real KLASSZ talent.
Gergely Madaras conductor (who also directed the orchestra in the Fantasy) did not put on a flashy performance in the Mozart-piece, but it was mainly due to the stage-problem mentioned earlier: the audience could hardly see him from the open top of the piano. It was still audible, however, that the entrances, the proportions and the tempo were just right, but we could only form a more detailed opinion after the final piece of the programme.
In Liszt’s Les Préludes, Madaras apparently tried to entertain the audience as well while conducting the orchestra. The symphonic poem, probably the most popular orchestral work of Liszt provided absolutely suitable grouds for that, and Concerto Budapest were excellent partners in the game, too. With his movements, Madaras called to mind some of the greatest conductors (and it was probably no coincidence, as he has already worked with Pierre Boulez, James Levine and Sir Simon Rattle). But if we had expected something unusual, an original interpretation, we had to be disappointed: despite the Liszt Year, we would have liked to hear something else by a different composer, or even a different Liszt-piece this time, because then the young maestro could have broadened his repertoire, which suggests a strong preference for 20th century and contemporary music, in this direction.
At the end of the concert, the audience –including Zoltán Kocsis – broke into rapturous applause, which we take as a hopeful sign that sooner or later we will see the KLASSZ talents on the stage of the illustrious Palace of Arts as well.
Péter Györkös is Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the European Union. Diplomats carry their duties wherever they are ordered by his superior officers, but Péter Györkös has a “personal attachment” to his present assignment: for more than twenty years, he has been monitoring closely the process of European unification and has actively worked for it in his successive positions.