classical music, opera, theatre

Hummel, Haydn, Beethoven

one interval
Béla Bartók National Concert Hall

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Hummel, Haydn and Beethoven: the master in the company of two of his students - since Haydn taught both Hummel and Beethoven. It is not by chance that the core of this concert by the Purcell Choir and the Orfeo Orchestra, with György Vashegyi conducting, consists of music by Hummel, because of the three composers, it is the works of this Austrian musician who, like Mozart, toured Europe as a child prodigy, that contemporary audiences are the least familiar with. The concert, which features both secular and religious genres, features two excellent soloists in the form of soprano Katalin Szutrély and pianist Mihály Berecz.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel was a popular figure in the period of transition between Viennese Classicism and Romanticism: he knew Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Salieri, Clementi, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and in the early 1800s, like Haydn before him, he became the resident musician of the Esterházy family. In the later, Weimar phase of his career, he became close friends with Goethe. Like most composers of the Viennese Classical era, he wrote both ecclesiastical and secular works: while the programme for this evening is bookended by two of his larger-scale liturgical pieces, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in A minor also offers a taste of the keyboard virtuoso Hummel's piano style. The two vocal works adding colour to the event, Scena di Berenice and Ah, perfido!, show how Haydn and Beethoven approached the genre of the concert aria, which also featured theatrical elements, in the mid-1790s. Interestingly it was this very work by Haydn that served as the model for Beethoven's own concert aria. György Vashegyi has been leading the Purcell Choir and Orfeo Orchestra, which he founded, with great success for more than 30 years. Soprano soloist Katalin Szutrély and pianist Mihály Berecz are frequent contributors to the ensembles' concerts.

Presented by: Haydneum - Hungarian Centre for Early Music


  • György Vashegyi
  • soprano
    Katalin Szutrély
  • fortepiano
    Mihály Berecz
  • Purcell Choir
  • Orfeo Orchestra (on period instruments)

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