Premiere of Missa Vanitas vanitatum in CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival

Krisztián Cser (bass)

The Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, organized every 2 years, has been considered one of the best in Europe since 40 years.

Accordingly to the tradition, to the opening concert the competition makes commissions to young Hungarian composers to write new choral pieces. In addition, one composer is commissioned to compose a bigger oratorical work. In 2010, this honourable commission went to me, which helped me to realize my old plan: to set in music the message of my favourite biblical book: the Book of Ecclesiastes.

I has been always impressed from this strange, sometimes cynical, but at least realistic, sober book, with its famous byword: "Everything is vanity!" I already wrote a choir piece from this words, but now I had the opportunity the compose a bigger work, in which dramaturgy can appear dramatically the Book of Ecclesiastes: the choir, who sings the Mass text, symbolizes the Faith, the hirsute prophet (the Ecclesiastes), who interrupts them from time to time, represents the Doubt. A doubt, the uncertainity are very human properties, the question is, how can a misgiving human being handle his doubt...

So the work has written and premiered, and now will sound again on CAFe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival. Participants: Krisztián Cser (bass), Eszter Zemlényi (soprano), Debrecen Kodály Choir and Budafok Dohnányi Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gábor Hollerung.

You can watch the short teaser video about the concert here (with ENGLISH subtitles!).