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Music weekly

Dixit Dominus for mixed choir 3'01"

Iowa State University Choir, cond. by James Rodde

Videoblog

"The entire piece is characterised by an uninterrupted, rich invention, a brilliant composing technique in terms of both form and scoring, and an obvious “audience-friendly” tone. All of this, consequently, almost predestines the piece for a popularity unusual in the case of contemporary music. This was also supported by the enthusiastic welcome of the premiere.”

News

A whole evening with my works in Pesti Vigadó, Budapest

Poster of the concert

Once in three years I usually think to organize a new concert from my works.

Also this time – plus, from January, I am working as composer in residence at Budafok Dohnányi Symphony Orchestra, so this ensemble will be the host of this concert. I am extremely happy because of this, and very thoughtful too: how should I choose well from the new works born in last years? Such a concert is exciting only when it is versatile, if it can show the composer from many sides, if the works are varied, however, from the program could be seen an organic compositional path on which the composer in last years can march.

Chosen in the publication "50 faces of Hungarian culture"

Emőke Baráth, soprano singer. Gábor Boldoczki, trumpet player. Ádám Fischer, conductor. Péter Korniss, photo artist. Lajos Parti Nagy, poet. Miklós Perényi, violoncello player. Elemér Ragályi, cameraman. Anna Szabó T., poet. Kriszta Székely, stage director. Réka Tenki, actress.

New choral piece for The King's Singers

The King's Singers

One day before my 43th birthday is my most important choral work (the 71th) finished.

Its title is Veni Iesu, veni amor (Come Jesus, come, my love). The text is taken from a Hungarian catholic songbook, released in 1797, and so far I know, it is a unic Hungarian speciality.

A hymn, in which, so characteristic in whole passionate baroque era, the divine and human love is interweaved. A confession of love to Jesus? Yes, the Catholic church exactly with this idea won the war of religion: against the moderate, puritan spirituality of the protestantism it brings into prominence the zelaous religious ecstasy. It tries to sublime the passionate human emotions toward the divine. And this thinking is a great base material for a lyrical pice of music...

And the performers? Jewels of the ancient english choirschool tradition, masters of chamber singing, synonyms of crystal clear, high-expressive and ethereal singing: The King's Singers.

World premiere of the Flute Concerto in Győr

Conductor Alastair Willis, composer Levente Gyöngyösi and Gergely Ittzés, flute soloist

We began at least 4 years ago to talk with my friend Gergely Ittzés, world-renowned Hungarian flute player about the idea to compose a new Fulte Concerto for him. 

Now the idea came finally true: however was born a new work with a classical three-movement-structure (quick-slow-quick), but it shows many interesting characteristics. 

First performance of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita in Miskolc

Poster of The Master and Margarita, work of Ágnes Dombovári

Which first performance will take place as a concert

1. The performance

Is this concert performance good or bad for the work? And good or bad for those in the audience, who will hear for the first time every note of a brand new stage work?

I have to confess: I am very happy with this situation. There are many notes in this piece, or rather many-many quick music, and the singers will sing very fast. The poor audience will bombarded with a lot of information – it is probably favourable to not distract its attention for the first time with the stage action too.

Missa Lux et Origo on the CD and concert of Gemma Vocal Ensemble

 

I am in a very old relationship with Gemma Vocal Ensemble.

Our friendship with this ensemble, founded by former students of Zoltán Kodály Choir School Budapest (leaded by Ferenc Sapszon jr.), began some time in year 1999. Later they performed for the first time two choir works of mine: Surprised at the life (2002), and Te lucis ante terminum (2003). They are characterised by crystal-clear sound and deep spirituality, so I felt myself very happy when their leader, Márton Tóth, just before las Christmas, gave me their new-released CD, containing my work Missa Lux et Origo, at the same time invited me to the album-presenting concert on January 28, 2017.

"I would go if I could go" – world premiere of a new concerto for Hungarian folk instruments and symphony orchestra

Ensemble Muzsikás  - photo: Tamás Opitz

Mint már előző, karácsonyi posztomban említettem, elkészült az Úgy elmennék, ha mehetnék c. concerto népi hangszerekre és szimfonikus zenekarra, amely Keller András ötlete nyomán fogant és szökkent szárba. Január 26.-án lesz a bemutató a Művészetek Palotájában, és íme egy interjú Mona Dániel tollából a Fidelión a mű keletkezéséről.

Rendkívül érdekes kísérletről van szó: a mű (hasonlóképpen, mint az Illés szekerén-szimfónia a klasszikus és a beatzenét,) a népzenét és a klasszikus szimfonikus muzsikát próbálja közös nevezőre hozni.

A feladat több okból sem volt könnyű...

End of 2016: big composition dumping

I would go title page

Nobody said the the life of a composer is easy.

The following works should be ended still this year:

I would go if I could – for Hungarian folk instruments and orchestra. The work was commissioned by András Keller, musical director of Concerto Budapest to their concert together with Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikás (20 minutes);

In te, Domine, speravi – for flute, violoncello, piano and girl's choir. For 70th birthday of world-famous choir conductor Dénes Szabó. It will be performed by István Matúz – flute, Csaba Onczay – violoncello, László Baranyay – piano, and my kind constant creative partner, the Pro Musica Girl's Choir from Nyíregyháza, conducted by Dénes Szabó. All four performers will celebrate recently their 70. birthday (15 minutes);

Iubilate Domino and Super flumina Babylonis – 2 choir pieces for Japanese female choirs (6 minutes);

and the last movement of my musical-opera The Master and Margarita (10 minutes).

50 minutes of music. Not even the craziest workoholic composer is able to overcoom this flood of sounds in one month – and yes, the moment came when I realized that the task is impossible.

Choir festival in Fundão, Portugal

Fundao

Taking a sudden opportunity, few weeks ago I made a trip to Portugal, for the first time in my life. I worked as jury member at an international choir competition, organized in Fundão

Fundão is located not far from national border with Spain, to north-east from Lisbon. This small city is the home place of composer and conductor Luis Cipriano, who visiting more prestigious choir festivals in the world, felt as duty to found a new festival in his own city, helping with this the development of choral life in Portugal. Of course it's about a quite tiny festival, with altogether 12 choirs and a jury including only 3 members: beside of already mentioned Luis Cipriano the renowned Israeli choir conductor Yuval Ben-Ozer, and myself, the not so old-fashioned choir expert... We had the task to listen to the competition program of choirs coming from very different parts of the world, after which competition the audience could seen a quite unwaited result...

The oratorio Image of God in Palace of Arts Budapest

Géza Szőcs: Liberté 1956

My oratorio Image of God, written for Gábor Hollerung and his Ernő Dohnányi Smyphony Orchestra after Géza Szőcs' drama Liberté 1956, in remembrance of the Hungarian national anticommunist revolution in 1956, first performed in 2006, is going today to be performed again by the same conductor and orchestra.

My relationship with the revolution is quite controversial: while, born in Transylvania, grown up in Ceauşescu's dictatorship, I can completely experience the euphoria of getting free of a crippling, suffocative state order, the heroism of an inequal fight against the communist Goliath, nevertheless I am not so familiar with the affected pathos encompassing this historical episode. 

This discrepancy is evident in Géza Szőcs' serious-dramatic-ironical-frisky texts, and also in music of Image of God, in which could be find many reminiscences: the I. movement (Prophecy) recalls the style of Kodály, the II. movement (The boys of Pest) the stíle of Khatchaturian. The V. movement (Image of God) begins with a choral adaptation in style of Bach, in which the role of choral melody is played by well-known Hungarian church tune Our mother Holy Lady.