hungarian center
for early music

MARIA THERESA 250 – A musical journey to the age of Viennese classics

13 May, 2023 - 7:30 PM

Lovarda, Buda Castle District

L’infedeltà delusa – Ouverture, Hob. XXVIII:5
Symphony in C major “Maria Theresa”, Hob. I:48
Scena di Berenice, Hob. XXIVa:10

L’isola disabitata – Ouverture, Hob. XXVIII:9
Ch’io mi scordi di te?, K. 505
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in E-flat major, K. 365

Katalin Szutrély – soprano
Petra Somlai, Mihály Berecz – fortepiano
Orfeo Orchestra (on period instruments)
Conducted by: György Vashegyi

Program helyszíne

The Haydneum commemorates the visit of Maria Theresa to Eszterháza in September 1773, two hundred and fifty years ago. It was a remarkable visit, which fired up the staff of the princely residence and gave Joseph Haydn a task worthy of his artistic stature, and it is no coincidence that the saying is associated with this event: “if I want to hear good opera, I go to Eszterháza”. This was the Empress’s way of expressing her satisfaction at what she saw and heard in the musical theatre of the Esterházys. Haydn’s comic opera in two acts, L’infedeltà delusa, was among the works performed during the visit.

The Haydneum concert will feature the overture to the piece. The following composition is a reference to Maria Theresa in its name, but Symphony No. 48 in C major was not actually written to mark the occasion: it was completed years earlier, in 1768 or ’69. Tradition, however, has linked the work’s birth to the royal visit, and so, like so many other Haydn symphonies, the adjective has stuck, and that is how it is known today. Haydn’s dramatic cantata Scena di Berenice was composed more than two decades later, in 1795: the scene, setting to music the text of the Metastasio, dramatises the pain of the heroine, separated from her lover. The two-act azione teatrale L’isola disabitata (The desert island), which also has its overture, was also written to a libretto by Metastasio, the most important librettist of the time, and was performed at the Esterházy court in 1779.

The two Mozart compositions on the programme, the representative concerto piece including an obbligato piano solo, Ch’io mi scordi di te? (K. 505), a concert aria for piano, represents Mozart’s most mature Viennese style from 1786, while the Concerto in E-flat major for two pianos (K. 365) takes us back to Salzburg in the second half of the 1770s: Mozart probably composed the work to be performed with his sister Nannerl.

The Orfeo Orchestra, founded in 1991 by György Vashegyi and still directed by him, is a major workshop for Early music performance in Hungary. Soprano Katalin Szutrély, soloist of the orchestra and the Purcell Choir, has performed in many successful productions in the past decades, both in opera and oratorio. Fortepianist Petra Somlai is an important player in the Hungarian historical performance practice, while Mihály Berecz is an outstanding talent of the young Hungarian pianist generation. György Vashegyi is one of the most important artists in Hungarian historical Early music performance, founder/leader of orchestra and choir, teacher, and rediscoverer of the many values of the Baroque and Classical repertoire.


The concert is a joint event of the Várkapitányság and the Haydneum.


The first 100 ticket purchasers will receive the first CD of the Haydneum Esterházy Music Collection series, featuring Joseph Haydn’s Symphonies nos. 6 * 7 * 8 – Le Matin / Le Midi / Le Soir performed by the Orfeo Orchestra.
You will be notified of receipt one week before the concert by e-mail to the address provided at the time of purchase.