The atmospherically lit staircase in the Vigadó

24–27 March 2022

Hungarian Rhapsody

Budapest, Hungary

More information

About the place
Budapest is the capital of Hungary and was once two separate cities: Buda (on the western bank of the Danube) and Pest (on the eastern bank). Considered by some to be the most beautiful city in Europe, it boasts hot springs, elegant concert halls and fine art nouveau architecture. The composers Liszt, Bartók and Kodály are associated with Budapest, and there are museums to all three within the city. The Vigadó concert hall is on the Danube’s eastern bank. Re-opened seven years ago after extensive restoration, its stage has witnessed performances by many celebrated musicians, among them Johann Strauss, Mascagni, Dvořak, Debussy, Richard Strauss and Prokofiev.

About the music
Messiah needs very little introduction. Handel wrote its 52 movements in a mere 24 days, working at a feverish pace to keep up with his imagination. The first performance in Dublin the following year (1742) was greeted with acclaim, but the London première a year later was met with indifference, even hostility. Handel had to wait until 1749 before Messiah achieved the popularity it has enjoyed ever since. The first ‘charity’ performance was given in 1750 for the Foundling Hospital, since when Messiah has probably raised more money for charity than any other piece of music.

About the performers
Brian Kay, Principal Conductor of The Really Big Chorus, will direct our rehearsals and concert; soloists will be confirmed later in the year.

More links for our Hungarian RhapsodySummary — How to book — Details for singers