János Vajda: Hymn to God

9. Bariton solo: Blessed is the Man Who Trusts in the Lord (Jeremiah 17: 7)

11. Choir: Give Us Silence (Calvinist Hymnal 183, Bálint Balassi)

13. Choir: New Light Cometh (Calvinist Hymnal 301, Batthyány Codex)

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János Vajda: Hymn to God

The Hymn to God was commissioned by the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of Reformation. However this festive piece does not speak of the last 500 years of the Reformation but of the historical moment when the expectations and hopes of the congregation established new ways of communication with God in their own language. The piece adapts several old Calvinist songs and biblical texts, rarely sung psalms and popular religious songs.
The piece has two versions: one with orchestral accompaniment and the other with organ. The first performance of the latter was given by the Kecskemét Choral Society in Kecskemét, on 5 November 2017.
The Kecskemét Choral Society, with the same soloists, also gave the first performance of this arrangement with organ in Budapest at the Fasori Reformed Church on 3 June 2018. The concert was conducted by Péter Erdei and the organ accompaniment was played by János Pálúr who is one of the best Hungarian experts in organ improvisation. He framed Vajda’s piece with several improvised movements in different styles.
This CD was also recorded in the Fasori Reformed Church.


János Vajda

János Vajda was born in Miskolc on 8 October 1949. Between 1968 and 1973 he studied conducting under István Párkai and between 1970 and 1975 composition under Emil Petrovics at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest. From 1974 to 1979 he worked as répétiteur with the choir of Hungarian Radio and Television; between 1979 and 1980 he studied composition in Amsterdam on a scholarship. Since 1981 he has been teaching at the Music Academy in Budapest. With his art that is rich in character, he has developed a style that is more easily acceptable to a wider audience as well. In addition to theatrical works, ballets and vocal works he also composes orchestral, chamber and solo pieces.
His prizes and awards: Erkel Prize (1981); Bartók-Pásztory Award (1990); Kossuth Prize (2003); Artisjus Prize (2008).


Péter Erdei

Péter Erdei is an honorary professor of the Liszt Academy of Music, Artist of Merit, holder of the Bartók-Pásztory Prize for performing arts in Hungary as a conductor, and a renowned figure of international choral life. He is the founding director of the Kodály Institute, Kecskemét, and was the director for over thirty years. During his rich career he conducted the Debrecen Kodály Choir, the Hungarian Radio Choir, the Kecskemét Pedagogue Choir, and he is currently the conductor of the National Youth Choir of Hungary.
In 2010, he founded the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir to revive the choral workshop traditions of the Liszt Academy. He remains active in his retirement, conducting the Kecskemét Choral Society which he founded.


Kecskemét Choral Society

The Kecskemét Choral Society is an active participant in the musical life of Kecskemét, but it also performs in other cities and abroad. The Choir has established a successful professional relationship with Hungarian, cross-border Hungarian or foreign amateur and professional musicians. The ensemble also performs in less traditional venues for concerts, such as galleries, museums, and libraries, to reach a wider and more diverse audience.


János Pálúr

During his university studies he won 1st prize of the Flor Peeters competition in Mechelen and 1st prize of the first Zoltán Gárdonyi Memorial Competition in Budapest. From 1995, he studied organ with Olivier Latry at the Conservatory of Paris. During those two years he regularly took organ classes in Notre-Dame de Paris.
One of his main ambitions is to enrich the sacred musical traditions through improvisation at the highest possible level. To achieve this aim, he established the successful „Reformed songs” concert series. He also designed the renovation plans for the Fasori Reformed Church’s organ in 2016.
In 2017, he was awarded the Liszt Prize for his artistic merits.



János PÁLÚR: Come, Ye Faithful, Hear the Voice of God
Improvised French Baroque suite for János Vajda’s “Hymn to God”

1. Grands Plein-Jeux
2. Fugue
3. Duo
4. Tierce en taille
5. Recit de Chromhorne
6. Grands Jeux


János VAJDA: Hymn to God
For Baritone Solo, Mixed Choir and Organ

7. Choir: Come, Ye Faithful, Hear the Voice of God (Calvinist Hymnal, Chant 161, Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos)  
8. Choir: Mercy, Lord, Have Mercy on Me (Psalm 57, Albert Szenci-Molnár)
Bariton solo: When the Son of Man shall Come in His Glory… (Matthew 25: 31-35)
Choir:  Who are Blessed by My Father (Matthew 25: 31-35)
9. Bariton solo: Blessed is the Man Who Trusts in the Lord (Jeremiah 17: 7)
10. Bariton solo: Blessed is the Man… (Váradi Hymnal, Psalm 1)
11. Choir: Give Us Silence (Calvinist Hymnal 183, Bálint Balassi)
Lamb of God (Calvinist Hymnal 183)
12. Choir: Lord’s Prayer (Calvinist Hymnal 484, Oppenheim, Albert Szenci-Molnár)         
13. Choir: New Light Cometh (Calvinist Hymnal 301, Batthyány Codex)


14. János PÁLÚR: New Light Cometh
Impressionist adagio for János Vajda’s “Hymn to God”


János PÁLÚR: Heavenly Glorious God
Improvised partita in the style of J. S. Bach for János Vajda’s “Holy Chant”

15. Heavenly Glorious God
16. Variation I
17. Variation II
18. Variation III
19. Variation IV
20. Variation V
21. Variation VI
22. Variation VII
23. Variation VIII
24. Variation IX
25. Variation X
26. Variation XI


Kecskemét Choral Society
János Pálúr organ
Máté Hamza, student of the Reformed Primary School Kecskemét
Bence Pataki, Junior Prima Award winner Opera Singer
Conductor: Péter Erdei

Recorded in the Fasori Reformed Church, Budapest, 2018
Sound engineer, mastering: János Pálúr
Publisher: Divisart Ltd