130 years after the death of a composer, rarely are such works discovered that substantially alter our view of the oeuvre. Ferenc Liszt was a unique composer in this regard as well: the surviving first act of the opera he based on Byron’s tragedy was first performed in Weimar in 2018.
The manuscript of the composition was found at Weimar’s Goethe and Schiller Archive, and David Trippett, a musicologist at the University of Cambridge, thinks the music of Sardanapalo is breath-taking. It reflects the influence of Bellini, Meyerbeer and Wagner, and it combines an Italian lyricism with Liszt’s unmistakably original harmonic vocabulary. Trippett reconstructed the piece from the manuscript, and also wrote an orchestration for it, and this is the version that will be performed in Budapest.
Kirill Karabits, the conductor of the Weimar premiere believes the music is magnificent and enchanting, and the piece has opened a new chapter in the history of 19th century.
This performance of the Budapest Spring Festival is presented by Müpa Budapest.