Gypsies with a classical noblesse


The Review of the Concert "Joyous Clamor From Hungary – Austria" with the Prague Philharmonia and the Kalandos Ensemble Budapest in Prague on 1st October 2014.

Excerpts from the Czech article by Jindřich Bálek:

At the concert to mark the twentieth anniversary of the PKF, Prague Philharmonia, the conductor Kaspar Zehnder demonstrated a sense of lightness as well as – almost more valuable on such an occasion – a sense of measure.

The concert delivered exactly what it promised: a pleasantly lively atmosphere and light Viennese repertoire at a very high level. It cannot be said enough that the easy-sounding overtures by Johann Strauss, polkas and virtuoso marches represent a challenging program for any orchestra. If you overthink them, they are in danger of sounding too academic; on the other hand, without enough rehearsal they could fall apart completely…

Zehnder conducted the orchestra in the overture to "The Gypsy Baron", and in the
Polka schnell "Eljen a Magyar" with finesse and much feeling for this repertoire. He succeeded in giving the concert and the performance a certain spirit that had enough humour without falling into caricature or feigning an exaggerated gypsy temperament...

The Hungarian band, the Kalandos Ensemble from Budapest, brought the whole concert close to the edge of crossover. This worked, however, mainly thanks to the interesting encounter between the gypsy temperament and a certain "classical artistic discipline"...

After the interval, Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance” morphed from a gypsy performance to an orchestral rendition: a trick which could easily have failed in the encounter between a band and a symphony orchestra. Here, however, it worked – in that the band toned down its “gypsiness” while the orchestra reduced its precise "academic” style...

The encounter between these two forces of nature succeeded on the anniversary of PKF thanks to Kaspar Zehnder.


Wednesday, 01.10.2014, 19:30


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