Béla Kovács passed away on November 7.
The news has shocked the clarinet world due to the unexpected and early loss of one of its greatest references.
The great Maestro has left an extraordinary legacy that will last forever.
Mad4clarinets has been fortunate to work intensely with Béla Kovács over the past summer to bring his wonderful music to the world. A project that has become his posthumous work, and with which we want to render him a final tribute.
Thank you for your music, dear Maestro. May the earth rest lightly on you.
Rest in peace.
MAD4clarinets and Béla Kovács
The personal relationship that joins MAD4clarinets and Béla Kovács started back in April 2015, when the Maestro was invited to teach a Masterclass in the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid. Right in the context of those activities a tribute concert was celebrated, and MAD4clarinets had the pleasure of playing there.
As a result of this first meeting, Maestro Kovács wrote and adapted a series of works for our quartet, amongst which there was his highly popular “Hommage á Manuel de Falla”, which he personally entitled “A la flamenca” and dedicated to Mad4clarinets. This work was premiered in the World Congress for clarinets ClarinetFest that took place in Madrid in July 2015, and it gained so much credit and recognition that MAD4clarinets suggested Maestro Kovács a transcription and further recording of some of his other Hommages for solo clarinet, together with other Works for clarinet quartet, so that this work could be presented for the first time to clarinet lovers in particular and music lovers in general.
This CD will be titled MAD4clarinets Hommage à Béla Kovács. Béla Kovács has very actively participated in this project. The order of the pieces in the CD has been proposed by him. He selected six out of the nine original Hommages for solo clarinet and adapted them for clarinet quartet specially for MAD4clarinets.
Organized chronologically, we are performing with a new perspective works in the style of some of the greatest composers in history: Bach, Mozart, Paganini, Rossini, Weber, J. Strauss, R. Strauss, Falla, Kodaly. These are pieces that have been written with respect to every author’s particular style but with Maestro Kovács personal hallmark, clearly displaying his masterful understanding of the clarinet’s technique and sonority. The second part of the CD is made up with pieces that stand for Béla Kovác’s closest personality. The Variations over the melody of II Carnavale di Venecia and the Variations of Patty Hills “Happy Birthday”, for instance, are dealt with with enormous sense of humour and virtuosity. His famous Sholem-alekhem, rov Feidman performed in this occasion by five clarinets (three of them in B-flat, corno di bassetto and bass clarinet) with Gary Cayuelas joining us. Conversation, Let’s dance Bossa Nova and Nostalgic Song are all Kovac's original compositions.
Béla Kovács, Professor at the Liszt Ferenc University of Music in Budapest and at the Universitaet für Musik in Graz, is a world leader in clarinet. Master of teachers and great interpreter, he is the current composer most interpreted by clarinetists around the world.
”It is such a great pleasure and honor for me to hold this recording in my hands in the shape of a CD containing my works written for the excellent quartet MAD4clarinets. I owe this recording to numerous and successful courses I have taught in different Spanish cities, namely Valencia, Castellón or Madrid. In this experiences, I have met highly talented students as well as excellent teachers and I could make really true and honest friends. After teaching one of my courses in Madrid I was honored with a concert performed by my dear colleagues and their students. In this concert there was a performance by the quartet MAD4clarinets from Madrid and I was feeling really delighted as I was hearing them playing. Their interpretation was remarkable because of their supreme instrumental skill, a free and joyful musical creation, and also their accuracy and precision which are both capital in chamber music. After such a great concert, they manifested their honest intention of carrying out a comprehensive recording of my compositions into a CD.
This recording has provided me with a greatly upbeat and delightful time. I hope music lovers, and young students of chamber music similarly experience such a pleasant feeling. Once more, thank you very much and congratulations to such a virtuoso ensemble MAD4clarinets is and my best wishes for a successful career to them”.
Béla Kovács, concert clarinetist
Professor Emeritus at Liszt Ferenc Music University in Budapest and Universitaet für Musik in Graz.
October 8, 2021
Justo Sanz, E flat clarinet
Josep Arnau, Clarinet
Pablo Fernández, Corno di Bassetto
Pedro Rubio, Bass Clarinet
MAD4clarinets is bearing the consideration of being one of the key reference quartets in today’s music scene. They made their presentation in 2004 in the chamber hall of the Auditorium Canal de Isabel II in Madrid. This concert was recorded and broadcast by the National Spanish Radio.MAD4clarinets’ members take part in the most prestigious national and international festivals. Their most remarkable successes have taken place in Off Arteria Festival, COMA Festival, World Clarinet Congress Clarinetfest 2015, and the Centre of Fine Arts in San Juan de Puerto Rico, etc. Among their shows, we can highlight the absolute premiere of Cristóbal Halffter “Concierto a Cuatro” (2011) in the National Auditory of Madrid, together with Madrid’s Regional Orchestra; a premiere of Bela Kovacs’ “Hommage to Falla” adaptation for quartet, written by the master and dedicated to MAD4clarinets after being renamed “A la flamenca”, within the context of the Clarinet World Congress “Clarinet Fest” (2015); plus the premiere in Spain of concert number 2 “Silvianum” by F. Cibulka for clarinet quartet and symphony band performed at the Monumental Theater in Madrid featured by the Madrid Municipal Symphony Band (2016). In June 2017, all these works were presented at the Fine Arts School in San Juan de Puerto Rico where they enjoyed great success both among critique and audience. In November 2019, the first performance of the work for four clarinets and symphony band “Flamenquísimo in concert op 112” written by composer J. Susi is carried out within the VIII Clarinet National Congress celebrated in Valencia. In November 2020, they take part in COMA’20 Festival with five premieres of Spanish music written for and dedicated to MAD4clarinets in Madrid’s Auditorium CentroCentro.
MAD4clarinets are SELMER and Vandoren artists.
What will we allocate your contributions to?
We resorted to social support, via Verkami, not only to be able to finance the project, but also to continue betting on maintaining the culture at the levels of excellence that we have known. We want MAD4clarinets Hommage à Béla Kovács to also be a stimulus to overcome difficulties and raise the spirit beyond the limitations imposed in the current context, with the hope that Music will flood your lives with fresh air and that we can soon forget about it. pandemic and its negative consequences. Through Verkami, we will feel you very close, becoming partners in this project, which is now also yours.
WHAT WILL WE DO IF WE GET MORE MONEY THAN WE REQUEST?
Making a quality recording today requires a significant financial effort. We need 6,000 euros for the project to be carried out. Our idea is to keep looking for financing in every possible way. We believe that this project is important not only for us: it is important for all clarinetists, composers and musicians in general, since it opens up new expressive and interpretive possibilities in the current musical panorama. If we get more help than requested, we will allocate it to the recording of new projects, creation of new scores, commissions for the composers of a new repertoire for the clarinet quartet.
The calendar we are working on is:
July 2021.- Recording.
November 2021.- Mixes and Mastering.
December 2021 .- Manufacturing.
February 2022.- Sending of rewards.
you can follow our trajectory and work on our social networks