The ensemble whose chamber music repertoire keeps growing with newer and newer pieces will play Bach’s gamba sonata with the virtuous cellist, István Várdai, followed by new interpretations of well-known Mendelssohn songs performed by the world-famous German vocalist, opera- and oratorio singer, Juliane Banse. The concert will also feature Shostakovich’s Octet and Cello Concerto in E-flat major which the orchestra plans to perform in an extended version.

The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra is preparing to close the 2020/21 concert season with a special programme as the last performance of their four-concert series on 14 May. The concert will feature the award-winning vocalist, opera- and oratorio singer, Juliane Banse, who regularly performs across Europe, the United States and Japan as the lead performer of operas and solo vocalist of different concerts. She was the one who performed Bach’s aria discovered in 2005 (Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn, BWV 1127) in the company of András Schiff and Quatuor Mosaïques. Since 2016, she teaches at the Robert Schumann College in Düsseldorf.

The Mendelssohn song cycle on the programme is also special, because it was transcribed by the German composer, Aribert Reimann, and was dedicated to Juliane Banse and the Cherubini String Quartet who performed it for the first time in 1997. Reimann transcribed the songs for soprano and a string quartet and between the eight songs composed for the poems of Heine, we are met with instrumental interludes reflecting the motifs of Mendelssohn infused with Reimann’s own musical language.

The opening gamba sonata (BMW 1028) is adjacent to the one performed as part of the season’s first show, the latter following the first. Once again, the transcription was carried out by Zoltán Tfirst, former violinist of the orchestra. “On our season-opening concert last October, we had no idea how many challenges we would have to face in the 2020/21 season. However, where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity for development. We managed to move our concerts into the online space and worked together with world-famous soloists, while expanding our repertoire with new transcripts. We are grateful to our audience for supporting us during these particularly difficult times and for following our actions intensively. We strongly hope that we will be able to experience the concerts of the next season in a concert hall, in the company of each other”, said István Várdai, Artistic Director of the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.

In the second part of the concert, two special and sensational Shostakovich works will be performed: a harsh and visionary modern piece written in his early years and another one composed 30 years later, a large-scale cello piece dating from his more mature era.

The 14 May concert will be available free of charge for everyone online, debuting at 19:30 through the social media channels of the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.


14 May 2021, Friday, 19:30

Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music season ticket 2020/21, 4/4

Artistic Director and contributor: István Várdai (cello)

Concertmaster: Péter Tfirst

Special guest: Juliane Banse (vocals)


Bach: Sonata in D major for viola da gamba, BMW 1028 – transcription by Zoltán Tfirst for string orchestra

Mendelssohn-Reimann: …oder sol les Tod bedeuten? – song cycle


Shostakovich: Octet, Op. 11

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto in E-flat major, Op. 107