Kunst | der | Fuge - Three Hungarian composers paraphrase Bach

Bach’s The Art of Fugue has excited the general public and composers with its perfection and fragmentation for more than two hundred years. Now the Danubia Orchestra Óbuda has commissioned three Hungarian composers to express with their music what this masterpiece says to them today.

The 12 movements written by the three composers will be premiered in a kaleidoscopic arrangement, like a whole-evening collective composition, on November 20 at the Academy of Music, Budapest under the direction of Benjamin Bayl.

UPDATE: Due to the epidemic situation, the premiere has been postponed to 2021.

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Quotes and Intimacy - Péter Tornyai’s Premieres in December

On December 1, works for a chamber ensemble by Balázs Futó and Péter Tornyai had their premieres at the Budapest Music Center, and on December 16, Asasello-Quartett will premier string quartets by Máté Balogh and Péter Tornyai in Neuss, Germany. All these works were commissioned by the Kunststiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation. Péter Tornyai has been involved in both events, and he also talked about these new works, previous compositions and plans.


Both of your new works are somehow in dialogue with the history of music. The same is true of your Bach orchestration, the 5th Contrapunctus of The Art of Fugue, premiered in Leipzig this summer, which refers not only to Bach but also to Webern’s arrangement of Bach’s Ricercar. Is this kind of relationship to the past a temporary phenomenon or a permanent topic in your art?

This has always been of interest for me, and nowadays concert organizers also seem to like these connections. At Bach it was self-evident from the commission, and when I approached this music analytically, I found that I also have to deal with Webern’s arrangement. Interestingly, together with Máté Balogh and Balazs Horváth, I was invited to do some orchestral arrangements of other pieces of Bach’s cycle next year, and I can soon try other ways in them.

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Works by Kurtág, Eötvös and young Hungarian composers in Zürich

The beginning of Máté Balogh’s, Máté Bella’s, Péter Tornyai’s and Balázs Horváth’s musical career is in many ways tied to Péter Eötvös, who was their driving force in the past few years. It is therefore no surprise that the majority of the programme of the Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation’s (which Eötvös founded in 2004) concert in Zurich on 26 June consists of works composed between 2010 and 2016 by these young composers. Jam Quartet by Máté Balogh, Chuang Tzu’s Dream by Máté Bella, QuatreQuatuors by Péter Tornyai will be performed for the first time in Switzerland, pikokosmos = millikosmos by Balázs Horváth will be premiered in Zurich.

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