Eötvös: Fermata – premiere

On Sunday, the 6th March 2022, UMZE Ensemble programme is arranged around the musical legacy of three iconic personalities of Hungarian new music: György Ligeti, György Kurtág and Márta Kurtág. Judit Varga’s new composition is dedicated to the memory of Márta Kurtág, while Gergely Vajda’s Bagatelles canoniques is an homage to György Ligeti, featuring a dynamic combination of order and chaos, unleashed fantasy and strict canon form. The premiere of Fermata by Peter Eötvös, an ensemble piece co-commissioned by UMZE is a significant event for the ensemble, which is a member of a consortium including the Ensemble Intercontemporain of France and the Geneva-based Ensemble Contrechamps. The concert also features György Ligeti’s Piano Concerto, which has by now become a classic of concert repertories around the world.


Fermata (2020-2021) is a concerto for 15 musicians sitting five feet apart. They present a kind of time report: from our Covid days and pandemic years, in which normal life suddenly comes to a standstill, then continues somewhat chaotically and stops again with tragic events. The musical material is relatively simple, sometimes reduced to just the contrast of black and white tones – at a time when one has to consider whether it is appropriate in our society for the piano to have seven white and only five black keys within an octave. Could the ratio not be balanced or vice versa? Centuries of increasing societal tension seem to have lit the fuse these days. The question is: how long is the string and how fast or slow will it detonate the bomb? Such thoughts tumble around in the composer’s head as he writes the notes and rather feels like the notes are writing him.
/Peter Eötvös – 2021/


Zoltán Fejérvári – piano
UMZE Ensemble
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Venue: Budapest Music Center


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