News Tokyo-Budapest Ensemble

Our internationally recognized clarinet player, Kálmán Berkes is not only a resident teacher at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Japan, he is also the art director of the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra. While teaching, directing and playing chamber music, he managed to create an exciting link between the cultures of Europe, Hungary, and Japan. The name of his ensemble clearly implies the same message. The Tokyo-Budapest Ensemble consists of Berkes’ pupils, friends and fellow musicians. They are regular guests at BMC’s Concert Hall every summer; however, the ensemble’s exact line-up changes year by year. It will be the 6th occasion that they perform a free concert at BMC. This years’ repertoire sets off with the master of German classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven. The Beethoven arrangements come from a set for Clarinet and Bassoon composed without an opus number in the early 1790s. While Beethoven did not officially add these pieces to his catalog, the works rapidly became popular, and at least two widely distributed editions of the duos were published within his lifetime. Dating from the earliest part of Beethoven’s career, these pieces are consummately Classical, without showing much of the Romantic „Sturm und Drang” that define the two later stages of the composer’s oeuvre. With that said, the duos are utterly charming and dominated by graceful melodies and straightforward forms.  They epitomize late eighteenth century chamber music. The Romantic movement also affected the young Ernő Dohnányi: in his childhood he has been constantly surrounded by music. His father, a talented cellist had the honour of playing with Ferenc Liszt in Bratislava one time. Dohnányi had been composing since his childhood: his piano quintet from 1885 was even familiar to Brahms and performed in Vienna upon his request. At the age of 25, in 1902, he composed his Serenade suite, which was not only a mature, uniquely shaped and humourous piece but also moved beyond the influence of Brahms. The concert closes with one of the last pieces written by Johannes Brahms, his Clarinet Quintet. In spite of the fact that he was already retired at the age of 57, Brahms decided to compose a piece on a whim inspired by an exeptional clarinet player, Richard Mühlfeld. This dramatically deep quintet carries great ambivalence: we are witnesses of a wild and restless struggle against a dreadful but inevitable fate.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Duo for Violin and Cello in C major, No. 1
Ernő Dohnányi: Serenade, Op. 10
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Kálmán Berkes – clarinet
Ryoko Berkes – violin
Molnár Boglárka Juhász – violin
Zoltán Tácsik – viola
Viktor Juhász – cello

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