The Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra is a prominent player of the Hungarian contemporary music life. In the 2018-2019 season it performed a number of contemporary pieces written by young composers. In January the orchestra will perform András Gábor Virágh’s Sinfonietta, concerning which we have received some intriguing details right from the composer.
Abigél Varga: The BudafokDohnányi Orchestra will play your Sinfonietta on January 26 at the Concert Hall of Liszt Academy. Please share some of your thoughts on this piece with us. When did you write it? What is the track record of this composition?
András Gábor Virágh: I composed this piece at the request of Liszt Academy, but the planned premiere could not take place. This piece was supposed to be played at the beginning of the concert, like an overture, so the composition’s duration was maximized in 12 minutes. I wanted to give a “solemn” tone to the beginning of the piece by using my own musical interpretation. Since I relatively rarely compose for an orchestra, over the years I collected many ideas in my mind on what to write for a symphonic orchestra. These ideas were by-products of the creative work when I was composing the soloist and chamber music pieces. This request came in the best moment as it was more than two years ago when I composed my last orchestral music. Since then, I have reconsidered many things on how to manage the orchestra as a whole. I divided the time I had available for the composition into three main phases, but as I was composing the piece I decided to associate these three phases with three separate movements of the composition. I believe the titles of these movements simply speak for themselves: Musicafestiva, Notturnoand Finale.
AV: Orchestra ensembles larger than a chamber orchestra but smaller than a symphonic orchestra can be called sinfonietta, while in terms of music genres this word also depicts compositions with a scope smaller than that of a symphony. What is the title of your work intend to express?
AGV: In this case the title refers to the duration of the composition rather than to the orchestration or the handling of the music material.
AV: YeruhamScharovsky will be the conductor of the orchestra at the concert. Have you worked together before?
AGV: I have not had a chance to work with him yet. However, I have known the name of this Argentine conductor for a long time and am sure it will be a marvelous experience to work with him.
AV: Are you working on any other new orchestral pieces?
AGV: I am in a fortunate situation that I received requests for new compositions that will keep me busy till the end of 2021. I will be glad to fulfill each of these requests. Two of them are concertos that require relatively large musical apparatus: In 2020, to fulfil his request, GáborVarga clarinetist will premier my Clarinet Concerto that is to be dedicated to him; Secondly, the German town of Konstanz asked me to compose an organ concerto titled Konstanz Concerto with its planned debut in 2021.
Interview in the Figaro Magazine of the Franz Liszt University of Music in December 2018.
English translation by László Kiss.