Requiescat in pace: Péter Eötvös (1944-2024)

A few weeks after his 80th birthday on 24 March 2024, PÉTER EÖTVÖS, composer, conductor and teacher, an outstanding figure of Hungarian and international contemporary music, passed away. Many of us knew this was imminent because of the illness that plagued him for the past year—which he bore with steadfast optimism and patience—as it shows no mercy to anyone. His passing was unexpected, regardless, and his music remained a constant on the international and Hungarian concert scene throughout his illness, even when he himself as a conductor was no longer able to participate in performances. He worked until his last months. His last opera, Valuska, premiered in Budapest in December 2023 at the Hungarian State Opera. In 2023, he was still able to complete his Harp Concerto, which premiered in Paris in January this year. The Hungarian premiere of Focus (Saxophone Concerto) took place a few days ago in Budapest.

"I search, I experiment, I take risks," he said in an interview—and he did. His work was dedicated to seeking new paths, expanding further possibilities in classical and contemporary music genres and, even more importantly, exploring hidden dimensions of sound. He began composing at the age of fourteen, and his compositional oeuvre encompassed almost every genre. His music is influenced by his Hungarian roots (Liszt, Bartók, Kodály) and by the greatest innovators and discoverers of the post-WW2 era (Stockhausen and Boulez), but these influences were only the starting points for him to generate his own compositional world.

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László Vidovszky 80

László Vidovszky's six-decade career as a composer includes almost 200 compositions, many genres and even more groundbreaking ideas, and is still growing. Schroeder's Death, 405, Narcissus and Echo are emblematic pieces of experimental music that appeared in Hungary in the 70s and 80s. And his later works - the 12 Duos, the Zwölf Streichquartette, Reverb and Promenade - are evidence of how the patterns built into his own inventions in the 70s became the basic elements of his own compositional style, now polished to classical purity.

We salute László Vidovszky on his 80th birthday with the recording of the 4th movement of Promenade composed for chamber ensemble. The Ligeti Ensemble is conducted by András Keller. (BMC Records 294)

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CD in preparation: Schubert – Brahms – Kurtág

Between February 2 and 8, Benjamin Appl and Pierre-Laurent Aimard recorded songs by Schubert, Brahms and György Kurtág in the studio of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.

György Kurtág was also present throughout the recording, and even sat down at the piano for two songs.
Excerpt from Brahms' Sonntag (recorded during the rehearsal):

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New release of Choral Works for Children's and Female Voices by Zoltán Kodály

This volume of works for children's and female voices is an extended and revised edition. Containing a total of 59 compositions, three of were not included in earlier editions, it is the most complete and most authentic edition of Kodály’s choral works for children’s and female voices to be published thus far. It has been edited based on uniform principles, contains easy-to-read, first-rate musical scores, and includes an informative Epilogue written by the editor Péter Erdei.

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Péter Eötvös 80

We salute Péter Eötvös on his 80th birthday with the recording of Dialog mit Mozart - Da Capo für Orchester.  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra is conducted by the composer. (BMC Records 284) More about the work here.

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About Time - A new work for string orchestra by Máté Bella

'About Time' is an exciting meeting of old samples and modern minimal music elements.

TIME - LIFE - DEATH - DARKNESS - LIGHT: the eternal themes of the arts. These phenomena are especially important in music since the visual sensations that can be created by musical sounds have been preoccupying composers for centuries. The musical perception of segmented and unsegmented time - as well as their changing musical philosophical approaches from age to age - have received special attention in contemporary music since the emergence of the experimental musical wave at the end of the 20th century.
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