Archive for Egyéb

A víz és a komolyzene találkozása

A komolyzene az életünk, a kikapcsolódásunk és a lételemünk is egyben. Mindig is éreztük, hogy a klasszikus zene ad számunkra egy belső tartást, fegyelmet, mindemellett egy igazi lelki töltődést és egy emelkedett szellemi szintet is. Dr. Masauru Emoto, az alternatív gyógytudományok japán doktora pár évvel ezelőtt előbbi állításunkat tudományosan is igazolta egy általa többször elvégzett kísérletben. A professzor úr meglepő összefüggéseket fedezett fel ugyanis a víz és a komolyzene relációjában. A víz lefagyasztását megelőzően lejátszott zene és a megfagyott vízkristályok minősége és szépsége között egy különleges kapcsolat alakult ki. Például Beethoven ötödik szimfóniájának lejátszásakor a desztillált vizet tartalmazó minta kinagyított képén jól ábrázolódik a hexagonális szerkezet, az a gyönyörű minta, amilyennek a legcsodásabb hópelyheket képzeljük a legszebb tündérmesében. A víz egy keményebb, heavy metal zene esetében szabálytalan alakzatot vett fel, nem mutatott mintákat, csak egy strukturálatlan elrendeződést.
Ezzel nem azt szeretnénk hangsúlyozni, hogy mostantól senki ne tomboljon egy rockzenei koncerten, mert lehet olyan hangulatunk, hogy úgy érezzük, a lelkünknek épp erre a keménységre van szüksége. Ugyanakkor gondoljunk bele, hogy a testünk több, mint 50%-át víz alkotja. A bennünk levő víz a komolyzene hatására oldódik a stressz alól, felenged, ellazul és ezzel egyetemben töltődik fel pozitív érzelemmel.
Mi folyton ebben a hangulatban élünk, zenélünk és játszunk olyan klasszikusoktól, mint Mozart, Händel, Liszt, Beethoven, Albinoni…
Hozd el hozzánk “vízkristályaidat” bármelyik koncertünkre és öltöztesd fel a lelked a zene szépségével.

Beethoven IX. szimfóniáját “hallgatja” a víz:

Let us introduce our artists – László Borsódy

In this series, we invite our readers to get know our artists. Beyond the biographical elements, personal musical experiences and habits give you insight into the scenes.


After graduating at the Budapest Conservatory of Music, You continued your studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music where you graduated in 1988 as a trumpet artist. You studied baroque trumpet, cornetto and bass generale at the department of Early Music at The Hague Royal Conservatory in The Netherlands. Tell me about the student years, what attracted you the most? Who were your masters who had a big impact on you?

My parents are musical as well, they’re singing and whistling artists, they have been inspired me much as a child to add something to the family noise. They felt that I should go to a primary music school and then a regular music school at the right moment. My mother was destined to be a horn artist, but because of my skinny body, fits more to be a trumpet, they suggested me at the music school. I stayed with this instrument, my charismatic teachers made me love the trumpet.


Trumpetist, soloist and chamber musician, performing with many European early music ensembles, and making recordings. Regularly you performs in European countries (Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, England) as well as in Israel, Argentina and Brazil. The repertoire is wide enough, what are the most decisive experiences and performances?

The value and richness of my activities depends on me in the given environment. Who are the colleagues, who the conductor is, how the site is related to the program of the given concert, etc. It’s always a pleasure to play in Italy, I like the music of the old times, in Italy is clearly guaranteed. The Vatican, the Venetian churches, and the St. Stephen Basilica in Budapest are among my great experiences where the trumpet sound can really soar in the imposing space.


Since 1989 you’re a member of Pro Arte Serenissima Italian Chamber Orchestra. How did you get in touch with them? In practice, what does the membership looks like? Are you going out for rehearsals and actions? How often do you play with them?

I perform with various chamber orchestras across Europe, Pro Arte is just one of them, but an analogy with the others. Membership here doesn’t follow the practice of symphonic orchestras, the result is completely out of bureaucratic, rather friendly and professional work. If I play well and my company is pleasant – which is an important factor for them – they will call me back. With my Swiss, Italian, Czech, Austrian and Dutch ensembles I have about thirty performances a year, which are 3-4 day trial concert projects.


In 1991 you held a famous instrumental performance at the Hungarian National Museum. Tell me about it. Where does the idea coming from? How was the research? Was it successful?

In 1991 I held my first music history lecture, which was requested by museologists from the National Museum’s musical collection. Perhaps the success was due to the fact that the preparation and the performance were also an entertainment for me. The trumpet, is a musical-cultural-historical fossil, like the old organs or other old instruments. It is a wonderful joy to discover relationships between music and the flow of history.

In 2011 you held a major concert and masterclass at the Brazilian Campos de Jordao Festival. What was your experience about teaching and acting in this completely different cultural environment?

I had masteredclasses in Argentina, Brazil and South Korea as well. The interest and enthusiasm which they were received was touching, and they took on a significantly different musical performance. Since then, several former overseas students have studied at European colleges, mentioning their participation in my courses.


In 2004 the Hungarian Cultural Heritage Ministry awarded you with a Bálint Balassi commemorative medal. How did this effect on you?

I received the honorable Balassi medal for the search for Hungarian early music and for the performance of the works, for which I am very grateful to László Virágh. He is a major researcher in this field. Since then, I have been involved in the reconstruction of many musical works.


What’s your experiences of Cathedral Organ Concerts? How is the energy of the audience with the fascinating, charismatic interior of the Basilica?

The performances of the Cathedral Organ Concerts gives me not only the aesthetic experience – musical and visual as well – but also an opportunity to interpret the musical works that are rarely given: every time to formulate a wonderful piece of music, our colleagues – our organists – are impressive creators!


How do you prepare for the concerts, do you have custom habits?

My most important preparation for the concerts is to get to the action in time – that is, to fight with transport. I live in Szentendre and it’s not easy to get anywhere from there…


What are your next challenges, concerts and performances in the near future?

This week I had a solo concert in Vienna, then I played in the Budapest Bach Week. Soon I going to Hallstatt and then to the Czech Republic for a Handel concert.

7 beneficial effects of listening to classical music

For sure, you have already learnt about the blissful effects Mozart’s music have on plants. Perhaps you even tried and it has been approved.

Now, you as a human being are different than plants in such, that you have not only nervous system but a beating heart and a brain producing serious cognitive activity. Let’s see what you gain if you switch from pop to classical music!

Smoothes your nerves

Let’s begin with your nerves. Today so much information drift in our everyday life. Messages, influences from various channels, instantly, and they demand instant reply. This continuous availability results in multitasking, whether you try to avoid or not. Listening to some smooth tune, for example the organ works of J. S. Bach, is equal to a wellness weekend for your nervous system.

2. Helps focusing

Speaking of multitasking, which is not supporting your improvement in any sense, finding your focus is essential. Some of us can work only in total silence, but there are other tasks which require high level concentration, such as cooking or composing an important mail. If you switch repetitive pop music to such classics as for instance George Handel’s masterpieces, you’ll be surprised how much advance you make in short time!

3. Best company for relaxation

Taking a bath and have no idea where to find some undisturbing tune? You definitely should put on W. A. Mozart! His playful tunes are never get too much, and warms your heart up from inside!

4. Make connection between people

Have you ever joined a classical music concert? For sure, other kinds of concerts connect the audience, because you dance for the same rhythm, move together, have the same experience. However, attending for example an organ concert, is not about moving together, you just sit tight. Yet, it means a higher level connection, because the force of classical music is so ancient, that evolutionary human beings connect together to the divine sound. Don’t believe? Give it a try!

5. Improves your brains functions

It is an understood fact, that art has blissful effect on your cognitive activity. It improves memory, deallocates such connections between neurotransmitters, otherwise could never been available. As your body needs workout, your mind too: if you wish for some more exciting activity than sudoku, join a concert, or put on Ferenc Liszt and let your brain do the rest.

6. Boosts creativity

Classical music as art is complex. Parts, tunes, instruments, rhythm are all in harmony, evokes different feelings and states of the mind. Whenever you listen to such music, your mind processing this complexity, and by that, creative energies flood you through. Especially if you attend a concert for example a such complex masterpiece as Verdi’s Requiem, and you can see how all the parts and instruments harmonized by the move of the conductor, this experience will work further in your brain for the good of your creativity!

7. Brings peace and love in your heart

Last but not least, cosy and intimate tunes of classical music cheer up your soul, warm up your heart, and bring joy to your life. Instead of sleeping pills, try to put on F. Schubert’s Ave Maria or any other piece you find peaceful, and see how balanced you get in no time!

(HU) Bemutatjuk művészeinket – Szakács Ildikó

Sorry, this entry is only available in Hungarian.

Let us introduce our artists – András Virágh

In this series we kindly invite our readers to get our artists, soloists, organ players and singers know better. You can read here not only their curriculum vitae but beyond: their personal musical experiences, habits and freetime hobbies let you peep behind the scenes, and convince the doubters of even if they create something divine on the stage, musicians are human beings after all.

Our first artist to introduce is András Virágh, organ player of the Basilica, conductor of many choirs, currently the professional ETUNAM Chamber Choir sounds familiar from our Saturday Organ & Choir concerts.
András was born in Hungary, and started his musician career in the Bela Bartok Conservatory in Budapest and got his diploma on organ player and teacher at Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. Music was inherited in his genes, given that his father – and teacher at the same time, Endre Virágh was a famous conductor and organist in Budapest. His mother supporting Endre’s musician activities, sang in his choir too. Actually time came, when son conducted to his mother in the same choir. It may not surprising that András’s brother, Gábor is a musician as well, plays jazz overseas.
Given this heritage, and stamina for fighting with all the rivals and bureaucracy, András has won several awards since his career started, just to mention the most outstanding ones: he got the Ferenc Liszt Prize, and the Major Hungarian National Prize for Outstanding Artistic Work, made award by the government of Hungary.
His vocation can be measured not only in his prizes but in his great discography as well: he recorded complete organ works for the greatest Hungarian composers, such as Ferenc Liszt and Zoltán Kodály. Moreover, he continued with recording complete organ works for Cesar Franck and even for J. S. Bach as well! Latter is big favourite of his, he plays Toccata and Fugue in D minor by heart, which you can listen on our Monday concerts by the sound of the great pipe organ.

And now let’s get behind the scenes and learn some fun facts from András!

Is there any moving, touching musical memory from your childhood?
Actually, yes, my first significant musical experience. I was listening to my father, Endre Virágh’s organ concert sitting next to the pipe organ. When he was playing Fugue E minor from Bach, I felt suddenly as the bench i was sitting on started to lift, and I found myself in total astonishment. I think, this was the most important motivation for me to start musician career, this moment I still can feel. Later, on my own concerts I had similar experiences, and I think, this is that we can perceive from eternity through music.

Any funny memory you’d like to share?
Of course! I was 5 when at the 10AM Mass in the Parish Church of Budapest my mother was the organist. Since she missed buying icecream for me before the service, i needed to bribe her: if I don’t get my icecream after the service, I won’t hesitate and will step on the organs pedalier. Obviously, she had no choice but promise me that icecream.

A musical career is full of surprises, do you remember any embarrassing event on your concerts?
Sure, I played for a youth concert in the Hall of the Music Academy for primary school students. The coordinator of the program naturally was trying to handle the event, and could until the organ started to sound loud. From then on, the children got encouraged and tweeting had been going on till the last loud harmony of the organplay. When I finished, they were so loud like in a sport hall, and got so terrified of themselves that all of a sudden shouting became silence.

May we ask what are your practice habits? Being such a great artist, one can think you don’t need that much time…
This is not true, professionalism doesn’t depend on how many awards one have. Usually I practice 2-3 hours a day, but when I prepare for a concert, it can be more, depends on the complexity of the music. Ideally, with 4-6 hours practice a day I can prepare for any kind of concert.

What do you do, when you don’t play organ?
I love to spend my time in my vacation house in Badacsonytomaj, I can switch myself off best in the nature. In our family lake Balaton is a forever lasting love, and everything belongs to it, therefore now I learn sailing.

4+1 facts you may don’t know about the St.Stephen’s Basilica

  1. It is among the largest buildings in Budapest, and definitely the biggest church there. Basilica has the same height as the Hungarian Parliament with its 96 metres (315 ft) high peak. This height is the maximum limit according to the urban architect laws in Budapest, which can be considered as a symbol that secular and christian arm is equally important. To climb up and see the breathtaking 360 degree panorama of Budapest, one has to take 364 stairs – or get into the elevator.
  2. Before a temple was established there, the former building served as a theatre, even animal fights were held in the place. In the beginning of the 19th century started the plans of building a church after a temporary one operated there. After half a century of construction, for 1905 the today shape of the Basilica was done. Even the famous architect, Miklos Ybl was participated planning this monumental building in the heart of the city.
  3. St.Stephen’s has altogether six bells. Five smaller in the left side tower, and one in the right side. This latter is called just like the Basilica itself: Saint Stephen, named after the very first king of Hungary. It is the biggest bell in the country, weighs 9250 kilograms and can be heard only twice a year (expect some other special occasions): once at the kings national celebration on the 20th of August, and at midnight on New Years Eve. Four bells of the five smaller were named after Hungarian princes and saints and was founded in Passau 1993, except the one dedicated for Virgin Mary founded by Ferenc Walser in 1863 in Pest, which is the biggest among the others with its 3100 kgs weigh.
  4. The great pipe organ of the Basilica was made in 1905, by József Angster. The disposition specification and size may remind experts of the French principles, due to the fact, that Angster studied at the famous Aristide Cavaille-Coll in Paris, therefore follows the structure the French style. The case of the organ was made by cabinet-maker Endre Thék. This instrument was improved many times in the last century. The last renovation was in 1982, when she got a new, 4 manual keyboard, a new frontage and 13 additional registers. It now has thus 93 registers, 6507 pipes! The largest is 10 meters, while the smallest one is only 6 millimeters, little more, than ½ centimeter! No doubt, this pipe organ is the greatest and most beautiful instrument of Budapest.
  5. +1: Speaking of which, if you are about to fulfil the astonishing experience of wondering around the monumental walls of St.Stephen’s Basilica with listening of the marvellous sound of the great pipe organ, you can make that twice a week! You can choose shorter (and economical) concerts on Mondays or the exclusive ‘2 organs – 2 soloists’ Friday conterts, on which you also have the chance to observe how the big organ sounds compared to the smaller one. Keep in mind, the smaller you can listen to anytime, but the great pipe organ can be heard only at our Monday and Friday concerts.