Amidst the creative ferment of turn-of-the-century Europe, the young composers of Hungary searched for their sound. And when they found it, there was an unmistakable tang of paprika. Dohnányi’s First Violin Concerto is a twilit fin-de-siècle romance from the world of Sándor Márai’s 'Embers', and it’s played by probably its greatest living champion. Zoltán Kodály, meanwhile, evokes the flying fiddles and Roma rhythms of his childhood village band with infectious glee. The young Hungarian conductor Gergely Madaras has a way of making this music catch fire – and then he looks east to Russia, and Alexander Borodin’s gloriously tuneful, mini-swashbuckler of a Second Symphony. Music to warm the blood and quicken the pulse.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room Hungarian-born conductor Gergely Madaras introduces the works in tonight’s concert, in conversation with BBC SSO violinist Alex Gascoine (free to ticket-holders, subject to seating availability).
The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.