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. Is this kind of relationship to the past a temporary phenomenon or a permanent topic in your art?

(Photo: István Kurcsák)

My composition for chamber ensemble, New Anamorphoses, also has a long history. I apply a technique known from visual arts, the creation of images that seem “meaningful” or “meaningless” from different perspectives to music, so that the “meaningful” perspective appears as a specific piece of music or musical style already known to the audience. When I built the first movement on Purcell's Fantasia upon One Note, I distorted the musical perspective so that another single sound would become a single continuous sound. By the way, I sent an older version of this movement to my former teacher, Zoltán Jeney, and I learned from his reply that he was dealing with a similar "tuning" of Bach chorals back then. Among other things, this prompted me to recommend the new work to him and his memory.