Gabor Benda
+36 30 487 8206

About the Composition

The first time I was touched by the story of Jesus was in my early childhood in el- ementary school at about the age of six. I remember we had a wise, elderly and very elegant Bible class teacher. She spoke about five languages and often read to us from foreign books, not only translating but simplifying themes as well. Somehow, she was always able to connect these different books, these different tales to Jesus; through his teachings and deeds. Once, during a school event I played J.S Bach!s Prelude in C minor (BWV 999). I had a terrible stage fright, after all the whole school was watching, and it was my first public performance. My teacher was really touched by my humble piano playing and said that I played the keys like Jesus walked on water. She told me that Bach is the most important composer in music history and the closest person to God, the closest person to Jesus. At that moment somehow, I understood at this very young age that our whole cultural existence is based upon the existence of Jesus Christ: music, litera- ture, fine arts; everything is connected to him. From that moment J.S Bach became my favourite composer. The way his melodies, his polyphonous leads develop in his compositions is like a never-end- ing energy that moves nature; as the leaves grow on trees and die and grow again in an infinitive circle in a time-lapse video recording. His music imitates the whole eternal cycle of life that is being triggered by an irresistible outside force. This is the essential moving force I wanted to represent in my music. Not to imitate Bach but to follow the substantive nature of things that Bach followed and tell stories to modern humankind in a traditional way through an up-to-date language.

Thirty years after my first performance in elementary school, in the summer of 2020 I had a solo piano concert tour in several mid-century temples. I had six con- certs in the province of Szatmár in Eastern Hungary, and all of them were organ- ised in thousand-year-old churches. The atmosphere of these sacral spaces was unique. I felt inspired by the environment: by the acoustic sounding, the magnif- cent architecture, the congregations. A lot of new melodies came into my mind and I decided that like so many composers in the past I!m going to tell the story of Jesus with my own musical expressions, highlighting the segments that mean the most to me. I chose 12 parts of Jesus!s life and melodised them for solo piano. The duodenary number refers to the Twelve Tribes of Israel and Jesus!s 12 disci- ples who symbolise the importance of spreading his philosophy and teachings.

Gabor Benda