Gábor Winand with the Gábor Gadó Quintet Opera Budapest

BMCCD124 2006

Gábor Winand has turned once more to his old accomplice Gábor Gadó to commission the writing of the music for this album, the outcome of a long journey when the growing reputation of the singer has called him to distant lands, and the guitarist has increasingly geared himself towards written music. And this time the composer offers an opera to his friend, of which he is the only singer.


Gábor Winand - vocal
Gábor Gadó - guitar
Airelle Besson - trumpet
Matthieu Donarier - bass clarinet, saxophones
Sébastien Boisseau - double bass
Joe Quitzke - drums

Ferenc Schreck - trombone (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8)
Dániel Viktor Nagy - trombone (2, 4, 6, 8)
Ákos Ács - clarinet (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Kristóf Bacsó - saxophone (2, 6)
Balázs Bujtor - violin (2, 4, 6, 8)
Boglárka Fábry - vibraphone (2, 3, 4, 6, 8)

About the album

All compositions and arrangements by Gábor Gadó; Lyrics by Eszter Molnár
Recorded by Attila Kölcsényi at Tom-Tom Studio, Budapest 2005-2006
Mixed by Gilles Olivesi at Tom-Tom Studio, Budapest, April 2006
Mastered by Pierre Vandewaeter, Studio Lakanal, France

Portrait photo: István Huszti
Cover art and Art-Smart by GABMER / Bachman

Produced by László Gőz
Executive producer: Tamás Bognár

The recording was supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Artisjus Music Foundation


Jazzman **** (fr)

Nicolas Brémaud - Jazzman (Winand feature) (fr)

Franpi - Sun Ship (fr)

Hans-Jürgen von Osterhausen - Jazzpodium (de)

AAJ Italy Staff - Paolo Peviani - All about jazz (it)

Dmitry Ukhov - Salon AV (rus)

Cvetan Cvetanov - Rhythm Magazine **** (bg)

Szigeti Péter - Gramofon ***** (hu)

Galamb Zoltán - Ekultura.hu (hu)

Czékus Mihály - HFP Portál (hu)

3500 HUF 11 EUR

Gábor Winand with the Gábor Gadó Quintet: Opera Budapest

01 Haiku 5:36
02 Tribute to Sylvia Plath 6:53
03 Opera Budapest 7:06
04 A long way down 6:59
05 Orpheus and Eurydice 6:46
06 The language of flowers 5:24
07 Milonga 7:31
08 All souls 9:16
Total time 55:31

The album is available in digital form at our retail partners

notes musicales en français - cliquez ici

Gábor Winand
has turned once more to his old accomplice Gábor Gadó to commission the writing of the music for this album, the outcome of a long journey when the growing reputation of the singer has called him to distant lands, and the guitarist has increasingly geared himself towards written music. And this time the composer offers an opera to his friend, of which he is the only singer.

Entering Opera Budapest is like going into the opera house or the theatre. A few rumbles on drums recall the three blows hit before the rise of the curtain to announce that dimensions are changing, that we are moving into the parallel reality of drama. Rumbles of drums, which are also the first bars of a weighty overture of presage, and which are soon joined by menacing trombone drones. Gábor Winand could be seen as a koryphaios, the leader of the chorus in a Greek tragedy, preparing, announcing, commenting, deploring, and talking by turns to the protagonists and spectators. At first underpinned by the guitar, his song is redistributed throughout the choir of instruments like a rumour taken from place to place, while tintinnabulating bells and vibraphone momentarily lift the branches of this disturbing undergrowth on innocence menaced by a rustic violin.

Again, a prosaic drumming continually interrupts the uneasy march of the trumpet, the first character to enter the stage after the overture. We should give up this parallel as being too simplistic to enter into the intention of the composer Gábor Gadó, but the series of tracks offered under this eminently suggestive title has something in common with the succession of acts of the dramatic work.

Gábor Winand did not wish to put his name to a vocal jazz disc any more than Gábor Gadó sought to favour his regular quartet. Recent concerts have shown how the singer was able, without much difficulty, to integrate into the playing of this quartet, which over the years has become a special collaborator in the interactive practice of unbridled improvisation. This complicity has stimulated Gábor Gadó's orchestral concepts, resulting in a tight, dramatic writing and an almost theatrical distribution of roles. Here, the solo is the exception. Most often, even when the composer lets go of the reigns, there are only ever duos or three- or four-part polyphonic inventions, at times almost hoquets (a procedure in which each voice completes a phrase started by another). And the one that seems to have the most autonomy is finally the drummer. If not the conductor, he is at least the ringleader, omnipresent even when he decides to be silent.

With the addition to his quartet of the trumpet of Airelle Besson, one of the most brilliant heirs of the post–Miles style invented by Kenny Wheeler, Gábor Gadó integrates this new ensemble to a larger formation that he controls like a true chamber orchestra. Rejecting redundancy to the extent of using unison, which always meets a specific desire for a combination of timbres, around Winand's exceptional voice he forms a supremely delicate balance between cohesion and contrast. The volume pedal of the guitar, the reeds and the trumpet illuminate the voice by turns, constantly throwing a different light upon it through the diversity of sympathetic resonances shared by instrumentalists and singer. The flashes of violin, the swirling spume of the saxophone, the dirty sound of the guitar on the overloaded amplifier, the bustling of the cymbals and pitched drums give dynamic to the pastel colours, streaking them with harmonics, making them fractured and angular. The trombone, the double bass and bass drums give a basis to this, which however still plays on the menacing weight of timbres and interplay of rhythms. The voice is central, yet it merges in this palette of sound, by virtue of an unusual flexibility which often makes it seem a veritable musical instrument.

Whilst the harmonic ambiguities (that Gábor Gadó has accustomed us to at the border between the modal and tonal universes) are spiced up with vertical arpeggios hovering over strange pedal notes, the rhythm itself is the result of the uncertainties of a modal concept of rhythm, where additive meters with varied time signatures become entangled. This unusual plastic rhythm gives rise to a heretical tempo, inherited from the tempo of jazz, but emancipated with its tyrannical chronometry, where the metamorphoses of metre, harmony and timbre cross-fertilize one another most curiously. On the drift of this broad polymorphic sonorous pulsation, the scores and the collective initiatives they support are manifestations of the angels and demons that stalk Gábor Gadó, born of this effete Europe where he grew up, of the values he took on and of which he has made the ferment of this passionate work. Who better than Winand to lend his voice to them?

Franck Bergerot
Translated by Richard Robinson


A carelessly tossed stone
A leaf, a falling tear will shatter
The mirrored face that you see
Reflected in the water
Ripples will spread, then
You will not know or recognize
That splintered face
As your own

This is not a haiku
A song, a poem of loss or pain
A lament for might-have-beens
But a cold appraisal of cause and its effect.
There’s no doubt, once the stone is cast
There will be no
Turning back

Opera Budapest

In the playhouse, music’s starting
Lights are dimming, curtain’s rising
Someone’s standing, watching from the wings
Face in darkness as the play begins
Words are spoken, arms are raised
Songs are sung and dramas are played
Is it drama? Perhaps it’s a farce
Can’t really tell, they’re all wearing masks

Movements jerky, faces of wood
Are they people? Take a good look
In the shadows, from behind the scenes
puppet-master pulls the players’ strings

A long way down

First, I was flying,
Drifting, so peaceful
My arms spread,
The clouds were parting
The same recurring dream
The same free-falling dive
Into the dark

Why – must I wake myself up, panic–stricken, so I don’t come crashing down

Falling floating flying
Dreaming waking dying

Can’t forget the price to pay for soaring free’s the plunge into our deepest fears

Orpheus and Eurydice

My love died untimely
And I cannot accept her loss
Cruellest twist of fate
Grieving I rove the realms of light and air
Finding comfort nowhere
Driven by the deepest despair
To the land of shadows I descended

Gods of the underworld
You who reign over phantom people
Woe is me
I have come
Come to seek my wife
See – she was taken from me
Snatched without a warning
Never to return

If you don’t revive her
If you don’t return her to me
I’m resolved to stay

Touched by my plea the Gods took pity
And revived her for me
But before we left both warned me
Never to look back or I would lose her
Alas and woe is me
Could not resist a look at her face
Now she is gone

The lanuguage of flowers

Once you brought me bluebells for constancy
Birds sang in the trees
Love in my heart

Now that winter’s come you’ve forgotten me
Snow lies on the ground
Ice in my heart

Would that I had never seen you
Woul that I’d known what I know now
I’d never be here waiting for you
In candlelight black thoughts on my mind

Come the spring I’ll bring you forget-me-nots
Don’t say all is lost
Give me a rose
For love


Lost – can’t seem to find my way
Won’t you take my hand, won’t you lead the way
You lead and I will follow you
You lead and show me what to do

Come – (please) come and dance with me
We’ll dance to your own choreography
These steps you’ve never shown to me
This dance you’ve never danced with me

I am walking a tightrope

Why do you give no clue, give no help
I’m in the dark trying to guess what comes next
I’m walking a tightrope

Cruel – this dance you’re leading me
Dancing to your tune, keep me on a string
To you, it’s just a game we play
This game where nothing’s as it seems

I am walking a tightrope

All souls

In my windows
Slowly closing in
Night falls
And I’m thinking of you
Somewhere out there
In the dark
You’re close by
You’re watching
Somewhere out there
I know you
Watch over me

I know
Some think
Once life’s over
Stops, you just let go
Dark falls
But I won’t forget you
Somewhere out there
Close to me
No angel
No shadow
Somewhere out there
I know you
Watch over me

Hold you
Frozen in time
Binds you close to me
Night falls
But you’re always with me
Somewhere out there
Never far
In dark hours
I feel you’re
Holding my hand
I know that
You’re always there

Lyrics by Eszter Molnár

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