Skip to main content

Classical Beats: Music meets Literature - Tolstoy and Music

Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


„Music is the shorthand of emotion. Emotions, which let themselves be described in words with such difficulty, are directly conveyed to man in music, and in that is its power and significance.”
The Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy wrote these sentences - maybe he was one of the greatest authors who were passionate about music: he played the piano, discussed music in his writings and even composed a few pieces (the only one which has been published will be performed at our concert). One can find the most important examples in his novella Kreutzer Sonata which tells a story of a murder: according to the main character music is powerful enough to change one’s internal state to a foreign one, and this is why he kills his wife. But is music so dangerous? And did Tolstoy really think that Beethoven was ‘untalented’? The writer’s relationship with music was complicated and we want to evoke his musical world to show its richness and extravagancies and clarify the misconceptions about it with the aid of some texts by Leo Tolstoy, and his son, the composer and ethnomusicologist Sergei.

Éva Szalai – piano (Éva Szalai - pianist)
Miranda Liu – violin (Miranda Liu)
Endre Tóth – narration (in Hungarian), piano (Tóth Endre)
Zsuzsa Nagy-Sándor - narration (in English) (Zsuzsi Susie Nagy-Sándor)

W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni - Overture (piano duet)
L. van Beethoven: Sonata in G major, op. 14 – mvt. I
L. van Beethoven: Sonata in C sharp minor, op. 27 no. 2 („Moonlight Sonata”) – mvt. I
L. Tolstoy: Valse
F. Chopin: Valse in C sharp minor, op. 64 no. 2
C. M. von Weber: Sonata in A flat major, op. 39 – mvt. 1
J. Bull: The King’s Hunt
F. Chopin: Prelude in d minor, op. 28
P. I. Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1 in D major – mvt. II: Andante cantabile (piano duet)
L. van Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, op. 47 („Kreutzer Sonata”) – mvt. I