György Orbán: Hungarian Choral Music


Music by György Orbán, performed by Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble and Accord Quartet, directed by Dr. Katalin Kiss.

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About this release

György Orbán’s music is performed by the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble, led by Catalan Kiss. It marks a 25 year relationship between the composer and choir, who have helped bring this Hungarian choral music to a wider audience. Alongside unaccompanied works, the group perform Orbán’s Missa Duodecima (for upper voices and strings) with the Accord Quintet.

Commissioned Programme Note

The Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble has been singing the choral music of György Orbán since its foundation in 1990. There are dozens of Orbán pieces in their repertoire. Several pieces were composed specially for them, and the ensemble gave the premiere performances of many others also. Orbán’s music has become their native language. This is the ensemble‘s second CD which contains his music. The musical programme of the CD is comprised of both secular and sacred music. A musical highlight of the CD is the closing Missa Duodecima, which was written for a female choir and a string quintet.Read more

About the artists

Ars Nova

The success story of the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble began in Kecskemét, Hungary in 1990. In the very same year it won first prize at the Athen’sInternational Choir Competition. Since 1996 the group has won first prize in its category at all of the international competitions it has entered, won Grand Prix ( Ankara/ Turkey, Tours/France, Zwickau/Germany, Budapest/Hungary two times, Maribor/ Slovenia, Verona/ Italy) seven times and won World Choir Championship (Graz/Austria, Riga/Latvia ) two times. Having earned international acclaim, the ensemble has received concert tour invitation several times to Greece, Austria, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Slovakia, Croatia, Great-Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, Holland, Macao, China, in the USA.

Subsequently, the group developed its own sonority, virtuoso vocal technique and built a repertoire in which contemporary Hungarian choral music features prominently. The ensemble and its leader, Dr. Katalin Kiss won the Artisjus Prize of the Hungarian Copyright Association on three occasions for its activity in premiering of contemporary Hungarian works and its pioneering work in that field. Recently ( October, 2015 ) the ensemble received the most prestigious Kodály Prize as an acknowledgement of their high standards of performance and successful artistic activity over the past 25 years.

The group premiered a great number of choral works which have become part of the choral canon in Hungary and abroad. Several Hungarian composers have dedicated works to the group and their leader.

Accord Quartet

Accord Quartet was formed in 2001, by four students of the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest. Since then they won several national and international prizes — such as the 1st prize of the Brahms Competition or the Junior Prima Prize — and become one of the most determinative musical groups in Hungary. From 2012 the members of the Accord Quartet started to teach officially in university and hold masterclasses in Hungary, Japan and USA.

The list of the location of their past concerts in Hungary include the Main Hall and the Chamber Hall of the Music Academy, the Old Academy, the Bartók House, the French Institute, the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio, the Budapest Autumn Festival (2004, 2005 and 2006), as well as in provincial towns and cities, namely Debrecen, Győr, Eger, Dunaújváros, and they have broadcasts in the Hungarian Radio too. They also gave concerts in almost all countries and great concert halls of Europe, such as in Museum of Fine Arts of Bruxelles (BOZAR), Museum of Fine Arts of Madrid, in the Ermitage of St Petersburg. In April, 2008, they were giving concert to the Royal Family of Belgium and the President of Hungary.

In 2002, 2003 and 2004, they participated in the Vienna-Budapest-Prague International Summer Academy; where they could study with the greatest representatives of the medium, with members of the Amadeus Quartet, Alban Berg Quartet, Janacek Quartet, Smetana Quartet, Mozaik Quartet, Hagen Quartet and Bartók Quartet.

They were awarded three high-class instruments from the Republic of Hungary, a French and an Italian master violin and an Italian master cello from June 2005. In February of 2008 a replica of a Gasparo da Saló viola was made to the Quartet by Tamás Guminár.

Dr. Katalin Kiss

Dr. Katalin Kiss Convivium Records Artist

Dr. Katalin Kiss is a choral conductor with wide international experiences and reputation. She is also the founder and the artistic director of Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble.

She is an elected member of the prestigious World Choir Games Council, Germany. Katalin is a professor at Kodály Institute of Liszt Academy of Music, guest professor at Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China and the founder and the general manager of the music publisher Ars Nova Editio.

Under her direction, Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble has represented Hungarian choral culture at many important forums such as Peralada Festival in Spain, World Symposium on Choral Music in Holland, European Grand Prix in Italy or ABCD Conference in Birmingham, Great-Britain, Modern Music Festival in Beijing, China.


Their many CD recordings include Contemporary Hungarian Masses (1996), Notturno (a cappella choral works by Ferenc Farkas) (2000), and Ars Nova Sings Orbán 1. (2006). Convivium Records published their latest recording (the second complete CD of György Orbán’s compositions) in 2015.

CD Booklet
  • Psalmus 126 - György Orbán
  • Ave Maris stella - György Orbán
  • Amor Sanctus - György Orbán
  • Daemon irrepit callidus - György Orbán
  • Chiaro - György Orbán
  • Two Flower Songs: No. 1, Vale, Vale - György Orbán
  • Two Flower Songs: No. 2, A Fejedelem Kertje - György Orbán
  • Four Mary Songs: No. 1, Salve Regina - György Orbán
  • Four Mary Songs: No. 2, Ave Regina - György Orbán
  • Four Mary Songs: No. 3, Regina caeli - György Orbán
  • Four Mary Songs: No. 4, Alma redemptoris mater - György Orbán
  • Missa duodecima: Kyrie - György Orbán
  • Missa duodecima: Gloria - György Orbán
  • Missa duodecima: Sanctus - Benedictus - György Orbán
  • Missa duodecima: Agnus Dei - György Orbán
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Catalogue number: CR028

Choir Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Quartet Accord Quartet
Violin Péter Mező, Csongor Veér
Viola Péter Kondor
Cello Mátyás Ölveti
Conductor Dr. Katalin Kiss

Photography László Inotai
Engineering Ádám Matz
Mastering Ádám Matz
Producer Dr. Katalin Kiss
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 2014
Venue Lutheran Church, Kecskemét, Hungary
Total Duration 46 mins

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