It was all somewhat surreal. But that was not the start. To begin with we had been invited to meet members of The Bard College Conservatory of Music at a dinner given at the home of Olivia and Lászlo Bitó whose celebrated 'salons' are, indeed, the pinnacle of Budapest society. What a wonderful evening it was, surrounded by such a plethora of young talent whose wide ranging interests, knowledge and enthusiasms were, and are, infectious.
|complimentary tickets for The Bard Conservatory of Music concert - Sunday, 13th. January|
And if friendships were to be cemented, then they were at a drinks party which we gave later in the same week prior to the opening of their Central European Tour.
|Sabrina Tabby, centre, a Bard student in conversation at the Drinks Party held in our apartment|
|at the Drinks Party, a smiling Szilvia Mikó, pianist with The Bard Conservatory of Music|
|Alex Meyer, oboist, prepares to brave the cold of Budapest on leaving the Drinks Party|
But we digress. For what was it that gave to last Sunday night that strange, always elusive, air of mystery and magic? Could it have been the softly falling snow lightening the darkening streets? Was it the concert hall itself, a building stripped bare, unfinished, work suspended? Or was it, most likely, the anticipation of a joyous occasion of the most wonderful music played by young people who, even in so short a time, could be counted as friends?
|the unfinished, but most interesting, main concert hall of The Budapest Music Centre|
|our friend, Dávid Nagy, is captured in the porthole of the concert hall before the performance|
Opening with a 'Quintet for piano and winds' by Mozart in which our most treasured friend, Dávid, playing the bassoon, excelled and where the highly individual Alex [oboe] and Renata [clarinet] gave most spirited performances, the pace never slackening, Mozart gave way to the second item, Schubert's 'String Trio in B-flat Major' which, not unexpectedly, proved to be an absolute delight.
|ending the Mozart 'Quintet', from left to right Szilvia Mikó, Ferenc Farkas and Dávid Nagy|
|from left to right, Dávid Nagy, Alex Meyer, Ferenc Farkas, Renata Rakova and Szilvia Mikó|
Thereafter followed an entirely new work by the young Bard composer Sunbin Kim entitled 'Two Mirrors'. This most exciting and complex piece, with its heightened discords and underlying melody, was superbly played with incredible assurance by Bitó scholar, Adrienn [flute], fourth year student, Sabrina [violin] and former pupil of Kveta Glasnakova, Rastislav [cello]. In this they were joined by Péter Bársony [viola] from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.
|Sabrina Tabby and Péter Bársony seen at the conclusion of Sunbin Kim's 'Two Mirrors'|
|composer and Bard student, Sunbin Kim, pictured at work before the start of the concert|
In conclusion Dohnáyni's 'Sextet in C Major' brought the concert to a triumphant and dramatic close where the verve, panache and exuberance of the players themselves became a very echo of the music itself.
And although they are lost to us for the present they are not forgotten, nor will they be. For each has found a place in our hearts: the laconic Alex, the striking Renata, the charming and gifted Dávid, the self-effacing Ferenc, the highly accomplished Szilvia, the vivacious and prodigiously talented Sabrina, the studious Rastislav, the prize winning Noémi, and the cerebal composer Sunbin Kim.
As they travel forward to Bratislava, Vienna, Brno and Prague, audiences in these cities can, we know, anticipate evenings of exceptional music making.
Bravo to Bard!!
For those who are interested, here Sabrina Tabby and Dávid Nagy play Mendelssohn's 'Piano Trio in D minor'.