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Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra has been called one of the most important orchestral works of the 20th Century, and it’s not difficult to agree.
In 1940 Bartók escaped his home country Hungary and travelled through Europe to embark on the New York ship from Lisbon.
He made the American capital his new home.
In 1943 he received a commission from the colourful Russian Sergey Koussevitzky, Principal Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and in a couple of months he had finished the entertaining, gripping and virtuoso piece which took advantage of all the skills of the Boston orchestra.
It can be seen as a sort of musical journey through life, highlighting man’s hardship, humor and tragedy but ending with a celebration of life itself.
Qualities brought to life by Chief Conductor designate Santtu-Matias Rouvali and the Gothenburg Symphony.