Consciousness op. 10 (1996)

- song cycle based on poems by Ferenc Szabó for bariton and chamber ensemble

Consciousness is a song cycle written to three poems taken from the Jesuit monk Ferenc Szabó’s collection, Voice of Psalm. Both the text and the musical rendering of “Belonging to You” consist of two parts. The passage culminating in the question “What in the end remains for me?” With its ascending music and recitative-like vocal part offsets the free-flowing melodiousness of the response “You are” which provides a dynamic-harmonic climax. “The Metamorphosis of the Metaphor” is an image of nature rendered by means of wonderful string tones. The title song of the series (Consciousness) borrows a few lines from Attila József’s  famous poem, too. The poetic imagery of mounting hopelessness, fear and desperation is accentuated by the accompanying tense string tremolos and double-stops of diminished and perfect fifths. The onomatopoeic renderings of the line “Thump” create an interesting break: finally, as a redeeming climax, a sonority of diatonic fifth ends the piece.

The work was first performed by Ákos Ambrus and the Componensemble, conducted by Zsolt Serei

In the Small Hall (Solti Hall) of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music on 7 October 1997.

Duration: 11 minutes

Publisher: Hangvarázs Bt. No. 10 (


I. Belonging to You

All that is invisible of me

All that is unknown about me

All that is incomprehensible in me

All that is unutterable about me

All that is unconfessable about me

All that is unfinishable

All that is a morsel of goodness

All that is a spark of beauty,

All that is a secret between the two of us (only)

All that is in my depths the dream of peace

All that is in my soul the flame of life

All that is in my body the ashes of death,

All belongs to you - 

What in the end remains for me?

You are - for me that is enough.

I have received everything from you

I am born from you and shall lose

in you my fading life

thus finding myself again

Negation and lack are mine

and perhaps the chance,

but these, too, are in your hands

Make me what you intended me to be!

Flow into me and fill my voids

Give me the joy of our togetherness!


II. The Metamorphosis of Metaphor

The fountain of memories is slowly covered in moss

Down below now and then

the midday sun flashes after it has

passed mid way through the sky,

but mostly the downy darkness

silently sleeps

and starts up when a stone 

is tossed into the water.


A kind of magic,

a tide-bringing moon

draws the water from the depths

silvery midnight flow

through the crystalline water

the silkiness of your girlish hair

your eyes sparkle

down below the stone sleeps


Time drains away

beneath the thin water

the stone motionless broods.


III. Consciousness

Night-time in and out

“fluffy darkness blows”

the kernel of the presents splits

self-consciousness peeks through

you see yourself in “booth light”

as time runs past.


Broken, you ruminate over the past

You seek to split the crevice of the future

your efforts are in vain

darkness gets thicker in every turn

it is fanned not by girlish moonlight

the icy whirlpool gapes

nothing-teeth glitter


Where then is hope nesting?

When will fear return to its hollow?

When will the silent cell bars of the 

stars break open?


Rebel, soul - freedom!

thump “golden self-conciousness”!

Hope is our natural force:

at he break of day

the “fluffy darkness” dissolves

and once again in the jubilant sunshine

“cilium lightness” flutters!