THE MAGIC POTION
Budapest Symphonic Band
Conductor: Laszlo Marosi
The Budapest Symphonic Band was founded in 1992 and includes the leading symphonic winds from Hungary. The Band appeared for the first time on January 19th, 1993 in the Great Hall of the Academy of Music in Budapest. In addition to classical pieces of music for wind instruments, the Band’s repetoire primarily includes compositions by contemporary Hungarian composers. During the spring of 1993 the Band gave a concert called Happy Music at the Gala Hall of the Budapest Municipality, a venue used frequently because of the attractive conditions. The first international appearance dates back to the summer of 1994, which was a concert held on the IGEB Conference (International Society for Wind Music Research) held in Abony - the very first time in Eastern Europe. Thanks to the support of the then president of the IGEB (now president of the World Association of Symphonic Bands), it was on this occasion that the national section of the WASBE was formed. The Band meets for rehearsals related to specific appearances, which are for the most part concerts funded by various sponsors. The first CD was released in the autumn of 1995 featuring wind music from Hungarian composers. The Bandís artistic director is bandmaster Laszlo Marosi and the concertmaster is Josef Balogh, also first clarinettist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio.
The composer Frigyes Hidas began writing for Symphonic Band in the late 1970’s and even early on his style was quite apparent, such as in the work Capriccio, which is cheerful and sparkling. Due to the fact that the piece has existed for nearly twenty years, it is included in the standard repetoire of almost all the Hungarian symphonic bands. In 1995, Frigyes Hidas decided to re-orchestrate and expand his composition Capriccio in order to make it more accessible and enjoyable for bands the world over.
This work can be seen as the sequel to “Merry Music” and “Tutti Frutti”, compositions that were played at the IGEB Conference in Abony, Hungary in 1994 and brought international recognition to their composer, Frigyes Hidas. The constantly changing rhythmic structures present a challenge for both orchestra and conductor.
Tuba Concerto is one of many concertos for a solo wind instrument with symphonic band accompaniment written by the composer Frigyes Hidas. (Other works include the Second Flute Concerto, the Rhapsody for Tuba and the Euphonium Concerto.) The work consists of three movements which flow seamlessly one into another. The second movement of this concerto features the tuba’s lyrical aspects with a lovely serene melody whereas in the last movement the tuba player is given a difficult task as virtuoso.
Mr. Hidas Circus Suite is a musical voyage in an evening performance. The first movement,
“Entry Music””,the proud parade of performers promenade before the audience. Clowns, the second movement is filled with the colors of jocularity through the excursions of the clowns. The “Rope Dancer” movement is a very gracefull high-wire act depicted by the euphonium solo. A technical interesting act for the clarinets is found in “The Juggler” movement. An exiting and breath taking fifth movement shows te “Trapeze Artist “as his high point in a succesfull Salto Mortale. On the finale we revisit the parade of performers as this great circus night ends.
THE UNDANCED BALLET
The Undanced Ballet is, as its title suggests, not really written as ballet music but rather as a concert work for symphonic band. The composition depicts a battle between good and evil and graphically describes major conflicts and setbacks. “Good” is portrayed symbolically by use of a beautiful, noble melody and “Evil” is characterized by a dark, pulsating asymmetrical rhythm (2+2+2+3). In the overwhelming struggle, “Good” finally emerges victorious and the work ends with an euphoric hymn which represents the importance of belief for humanity.
THE MAGIC POTION
The Ballet “The Magic Potion” was first performed May 31st, 1975 by the Wiesbaden Opera. More than a decade later the composer György Ránki (then nearly eighty years old) based his first original work for symphonic band on it. The first movement is a Dance of Joy and the virtuose second movement (written later), the Ghostís Dance, is a splendid vehicle for the clarinet and trumpet players. The work reaches a climax in the Euphory (the third movement) in which the fisher folk, at odds with one another for centuries, are reconciled. Folk Festival is the closing movement and is written in a charming french manner which proves irresistable to audiences.