The most important class, however, for me and for hundreds of other Hungarian musicians, was the chamber-music class. From about the age of fourteen, and until graduation from the Academy, all instrumentalists except the heavy-brass players and percussionists had to participate in this course. Presiding over it for many years was the composer Leó Weiner, who thus exercised an enormous influence on three generations of Hungarian musicians.

Sir Georg Solti
István Várdai & János Balázs

23 February 2019, 19.30-21.30

Grand Hall

Cziffra Festival 2019

István Várdai & János Balázs Presented by Liszt Academy

Kodály: Sonatina
Kodály: Cello Sonata, Op. 8


Chopin: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, Op. 65

István Várdai (cello), János Balázs (piano)

Composing for the cello represented a diversion for the pianist Chopin in the last years of his life, whereas cellist Kodály wrote perhaps his best instrumental work for this instrument while still young. This is the very first time that István Várdai, celebrated cellist and, since last year, head of department at the Music Academy in Vienna, and János Balázs, who is a few years younger, have performed together. They are around the same age as Kodály was when he completed his Sonatina and, a little later, the Sonata. Chopin’s cello-piano sonata is rarely performed in concert halls, yet it is still something really special: it was written for his friend and superb cellist Auguste Franchomme, with whom he performed the last three movements in what was to be the composer’s final public appearance, on 18 February 1848; it was also the last work to be published in Chopin’s lifetime. On the other hand, Kodály’s Sonatina, and more so his Cello Sonata, are justifiably two of the most frequently performed works by the Hungarian composer; through its unbelievably expressive and unique solutions, the latter piece is one of the most demanding and, at the same time, most rewarding opuses in the cello canon.

Presented by

Besszer Concert


HUF 2 000, 3 000, 4 000, 5 000, 6 000, 8 000