King Stephen is a commemorative work composed in 1811. It includes an overture in E flat major and nine vocal numbers. Only the overture is still played today but it is among the least played orchestral works of the composer. The title refers to King Stephen I, founder of the kingdom of Hungary in the year 1000.
In 1808 Emperor Francis II of Austria commissioned the construction of a large theatre in Budapest, to alleviate the nationalist feelings incipient in Hungary and to celebrate the loyalty of Hungary to the Austrian monarchy. At the time of the inauguration of this theatre in 1811, the managers of the New Theatre commissioned the poet Kotze
Programme notes for BHSO performance, May 2010
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