PÉTER NÓGRÁDI (b.1952): Hungarian Requiem - for the Victims of 1956 for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra (Andrea Meláth [mezzo], András Molnár [tenor], Hungarian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Kálmán Strausz), Messa da Camera for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass and Ensemble (Rózsa Kiss [soprano], Erzsébet Bardócz [contralto], István Basky [tenor], Ferenc Korpás [bass], Componensemble Chamber Ensemble; Zsolt Serei [piano]), The Wedding of the Lamb for Ensemble (UMZE Chamber Ensemble; László Tihanyi), Elegy for Wind Quintet (Wind Quintet of the Hungarian RSO), Cantata for Folk Singer, Clarinet, Piano and Percussion (Eszter Pál [contralto], Anna Granik [piano], András Horn [clarinet], Benedek Tóth [percussion]).

Catalogue Number: 11L106

Label: Hungaroton

Reference: HCD 32628

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: main work here is the Hungarian Requiem, in memory of the victims of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. The piece sets six poems in eloquent, pleading vocal lines over an orchestral accompaniment intensified through insistent ostinati and the frequent quotation of folksong material. The latter, along with the prominent cimbalom part in an incisive, Bartókian tonal context leave no doubt as to the nationalistic lament inherent in the work's musical argument. The Cantata also incorporates Hungarian folk material, emphasized by the specified voice; folk singer as opposed to concert soloist; plainchant and ostinato contribute to the work's serious message of Easter redemption through suffering. The Wedding is an in memoriam piece for Zsolt Durkó, plangent mourning interrupted by obsessively rhythmic outbursts, finally resolving into an ethereal rendering of a Gregorian antiphon. The Elegy extracts its material from a single chord, used in variation form, then combined with a folk melody. The Mass is a somewhat austere specimen of modal polyphony, with some folk influence in the inflections of the vocal writing. The ostinato-driven, lively Sanctus provides contrast with the restraint of the Kyrie and the final darkly glowing Agnus Dei and Dona Nobis Pacem.

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