Group 180 – 35 Years


13 October 2014


Liszt Academy Budapest, Grand Hall
CAFe Budapest – Contemporary Arts Festival

István Márta: Lesson 24 – Christmas Day
Béla Faragó: The Spider’s Death – Epitaph
Tibor Szemző: Skullbase Fracture
László Melis: The Songs of Maldoror
Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together – Attica

Conductors: Tibor Szemző, László Melis, Béla Faragó, István Márta
Péter Forgács, Pál Hont (narrators); Orsolya Winkler, József Rácz (violin); Márta Melis (viola); György Déri (cello); István Lukácsházy (bass); Máté Bán (flute); Fruzsina Káli-Fonyódi (oboe); Csaba Klenyán (clarinet); György Lakatos (bassoon); Bence Horváth (trumpet); András Sütő (trombone); Boglárka Fábry (percussion); György Oravecz, István Szakács (piano); Tibor Fónay (bass guitar); János Sándor Folk Music Ensemble; Zsuzsa Lukin, Ildikó Fodor (soprano); Ádám Hlaszny (percussion)

From the very beginning in 1979, Group 180’s musicians and composers constructively agitated the stagnant cultural years of the late Kádár era. The group, which enjoyed as much success in university clubs as it did at international festivals, functioned as the Hungarian flagship of minimalist music hallmarked by the Americans Steve Reich and Philipp Glass. Like most contemporary art riding against the mainstream, Group 180 also had its countercultural, political dimension. But just as important is the fact that it introduced to Hungary and popularized a musical world which had been hitherto obscured. Not only did the political regime collapse in 1990 but Group 180 also dispersed, leaving behind them three remarkable albums and the intellectual seeds of minimalism which gave rise to its successes in Hungary around the turn of the millennium. The concert features excerpts from all three albums: compositions by members of the group as well as two key works by the American Frederic Rzewski, the politically charged Coming Together and Attica.



Issue 3: Group 180: Minimalism behind the Iron Curtain
By Evan Burke


Group 180’s recordings are shockingly fresh, as vibrant and necessary now as they were thirty years ago. Even more so, really; there is an emotional thrust, a crackling energy, that’s as rare today as has ever been in modern classical. Their recordings explode with a hive-mind dynamic, a multi-headed beast whose limbs move in flawless concert, ebbing and flowing with a natural feel more akin to a rock band or a jazz quartet than a classical ensemble. The emotional power of their music is timeless. Continue reading I CARE IF YOU LISTEN MAGAZINE