Music weekly

Sinfonia concertante III. tétel 9'37"

Perf. by: Amadinda Perc. Group, Pannon Philh. Orch., cond. by Tibor Bogányi

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

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.

Three new choir pieces written

Ave verum corpus

Three new choir pieces are written in the last one-month period. This three pieces this time (differently from the couple Dominus Iesus in qua nocte and Regina cœli) cannot be sung like a cycle – we're talking about very different works.

The first piece is a redult of a wide-range champing: Laudate pueri Dominum is commissioned by not less than 11 choirs from the USA. The starting point of the commission is Kathleen Rodde, professor of Iowa State University – our cooperation has already big and very successful tradition: Iubilate Deo, written for her, succeeded to be after her recommendation compulsory work on Texas All-State Convention, and it was sold in 10.000. exemplars! This actual work is a quick, virtuose piece, in which are playing big role a wide variety of "body hits": clapping, stamping and so on.

Video reports about the Cantemus Choir Festival

Gyöngyösi Levente as jury member on the Cantemus Festival

In the VideoBlog from now can be seen my video report about the XIth Cantemus International Choir Festival in Nyíregyháza, where I worked as member of international jury.

This festival is well-known not about its size, but about its friendliness and its love for common singing - however, its artistic level is also very high. In the international jury could be found Francis Steele, ex-member of the world-famous Tallis Scholars vocal ensemble; Süleyman Tarman, composer and choir conductor, professor of Ankara University; Emőke Solymosi-Tari, musicologist, professor of Franz Liszt Music Academy; Dénes Szabó, founder-director of Cantemus Choral School, as well as myself.

In the video report Soma Szabó, one of the artistic directors of the festival, speaks about the character and environment of the event. You can see excerpts from the foklore evening organized in Kossuth Square, Nyíregyháza, as well from the apex of the festival: the choir competition. You can also find out, who is the winner of the Grand Prix of the festival.

Cantemus Choir Festival as jury member

Poster of the festival

This summer everything seems to going about choir festivals and workings as jury member: this time in Nyíregyháza, on the Cantemus International Choir Festival, organized between August 15-22, in company of such great people, like 

Francis Steele (England), ex-singer of Tallis Scholars

Süleyman Tarman (Turkey), conductor and composer; 

Emőke Solymosi-Tari (Hungary), professor of musicology in the Franz Liszt Music Academy, Budapest, and

Dénes Szabó, one of the greatest choir conductors of our time, Honored Artist of Hungary.

Cantemus Choir wins in Cantonigròs with two Gyöngyösi-pieces

Soma Szabó and the Cantemus Choir

As we can read in announcement of results, the Cantemus Choir (Nyíregyháza, Hungary), conducted by Soma Szabó, has reached a big success: on the International Choir Competition of Cantonigròs, Spain, won prizes in two categories.

On the competition participated 29 choirs of 19 countries. The ladies of Cantemus won 2. prize in the Female Choirs category, i. a. with my Quo ibo a spiritu tuo, then the whole choir won 1. prize in the Mixed Choirs category. Part of their program was my Puer natus in Bethlehem.

The World Choir Games in Sochi begins in few days

Work as a jury member

In general, it is a very funny thing to work as a jury member on a choir competition: in summer, in beautiful cities, in festival mood, in company of very large number of choir singers (up to 10.000.), the worthy jury member can hear beautiful choir music.

And, if he is a composer, he can get a full overview about the actual situation of the contemporary choir music: which composers's works are sung by everybody, who are rising and who are descending. This is a very good market, the only one in contemporary music that can work according the rules of a real market.

Two new pieces for female choir

The first page of new Regina coeli

In last years I am in a very good professional relationship and also friendship with Dénes Szabó, the "magician" of Hungarian music life, inventor of one of the most beautiful choir sounds in the universe. From time to time they perform new choir pieces of mine, and this can be heard now on already two CD-s.

For the concert tour in this year I've written two new pieces for Cantemus Children's Choir, sung in Latin: Dominus Iesus in qua nocte and Regina coeli. This two pieces can be performed also together...

Choir videos from the concert in October 2015 can be seen now

The poster of the concert

I am pleased to report that, due to my friend Szilárd Rábai, the videos from my choir pieces made on the concert in St Emerich Church on October 11, 2015 can be seen now on my webpage.

The wonderful Pro Musica Girl's Choir from Nyíregyháza sang a total of 9 choir pieces, on very high level (as usual), with a deep and moving musicality. They were conducted by their multi-awarded, world-famous conductor, Dénes Szabó.

The Master and Margarita, a new musical in preparation

The Master and Margarita - first edition

The longest. The most exhausting. The most distressful.

Yet, to write a musical-theatrical piece based on Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita is the most challenging task of my life as a composer; to write a piece from this mystic novel, the evergreen favourite of my anaesthesiologist-ambulance man friend, Zoltán Csordás, who, already at the beginning of our friendship when I did not even know anything about Russian literature, let alone read the novel, could talk about it for hours upon hours. We gave lectures in Józsi Reményi’s flat on some important things almost on a weekly basis. I think it was in 1998: I focused on Figaro; he talked about The Master and Margarita. It was at the time when they visited Moscow together with Józsi. They made a pilgrimage to every scene, took numerous pictures and back home at the occasion of the lecture, he showed us Bolshaya Sadovaya 302 bis, Patriarch’s Ponds, Sparrow Hills in the photos. 

As I mentioned before, I did not read the book then but as I was listening to the philological analyses of Csordás, it became obvious that this was a very significant and exciting work.