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Epigramma de suo libro

 for 4-part mixed choir

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Description: english 

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Composed: 1960  
Text: in Latin by Janus Pannonius
Durata: 2'
Publication: Editio Musica Budapest 


Farkas used a poem by Janus Pannonius (1434-72), the great Hungarian humanist poet, bishop and statesman, for his choral work Epigramma de suo libro, composed in 1960. Pannonius plays an important part in Farkas' music partly because he was both Hungarian and European, and addressed his contemporaries in the cultural language of the time, Latin. Not only did Farkas write one of his chief works, the cantata Cantus Pannonicus, to poems by Pannonius, but eleven other compositions were also inspired by his works.

In the case of the Epigramma he did not take Pannonius' lofty ideas and usual poetical images; instead, he put into music one of Pannonius “jeux d’esprit” :

Look, we have written a joke; come here, unserious reader. 
But you, serious reader, go away. 
If you have a severe nature, don't read these trifles, 
Or, if by chance you did read them, 
Change your nature. 

Farkas' piece is in essence a virtuoso joke which makes fun of his listeners and performers alike: he piles up the most difficult intervals to sing, and after causing thorough confusion, he gradually simplifies the score.

László Gombos

This article was last updated on Thu, Jul. 28 2016

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