hungarian center
for early music

II. Haydneum Festival of Sacred Music – Concert of the Kodály Choir Debrecen and the Capella Savaria

16 June, 2023 - 8:00 PM

University Church, Budapest

Michael HAYDN (1737–1806): Mass in C major, MH 42
Michael HAYDN: Symphony in D major, No. 19, MH 198
Benedek ISTVÁNFFY (1733–1778): Messa dedicata al Patriarcha Santo Benedetto

Eszter Zemlényi, Erika Kovalik soprano
Viola Thurnay contralto
József Csapó tenor
Lőrinc Kósa bass

Kodály Choir Debrecen, Capella Savaria
Conducted by  Kocsis-Holper Zoltán


SEASON TICKET for the 5 concerts of the festival (admission to the closing concert is free but registration is required)


Program helyszíne

Michael, younger brother of Joseph Haydn by five years, was an important artist whose work was also particularly respected by his immortal older brother. One of the features of the career of Michael Haydn is that in 1760, he was contracted to work in Oradea, yet by 1762 he was already in Salzburg where (and this is another remarkable turn in his life) not only was he working with the Mozart family in the same city but he came into contact with them and over the course of several years he won the esteem of Wolfgang Amadeus to the point where the younger composer used Michael’s compositions in several of his own works as a model. Thus indirectly, Mozart learnt from the older master by analysing his compositions. The most famous such piece is Requiem, his last unfinished work. At the concert, the sacred music chapter of Michael Haydn’s oeuvre is represented by the Mass in C major, and the composer’s secular output by the Symphony in D major. Benedek Istvánffy, the other composer in this concert, is the European-standard Hungarian representative of late Baroque, early Classical style, who was born in what is today Pannonhalma (Szentmárton) and was important as conductor at the Cathedral of Győr. He wrote two masses, one of which, the Saint Benedict Mass performed at this concert, ranks as one of the most outstanding pieces of early sacred music in Hungary. Debrecen Kodály Choir were founded by György Gulyás in 1955; Capella Savaria were established by musicians in Szombathely under the direction of Pál Németh in 1981. Conductor of the concert Zoltán Kocsis-Holper is choral director of Debrecen Kodály Choir, and soloists Eszter Zemlényi, Erika Kovalik, Viola Thurnay, József Csapó and Lőrinc Kósa are all prominent figures in Hungarian vocal society.