Composition database

This is the Composition Database of BMC, which includes information about works by composers that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary.

Title of the work

Speaking Drums


Original / Hungarian title
Speaking Drums
Foreign language / English title
Speaking Drums
Four poems for percussion and orchestra
Year of composition

Number of players
perc. solo (1 esec. [anche reciter]: timp.b., marimba, camp., cmpc., trg., 8 ptti.,· 3 gong, 2 tam-tam, tmb.picc., tmb.mlt., 4 tom-tom, 5-6 temple bl. [Mokugyo or salad bowl], hi-hat, 2 wood bl., 2 lion´s roar, 4 opt. instr.: tom-tom, tam-tam, opera gong, ptti.) - 2 fl. (II anche picc.), ob. (anche, cl. in A, cl.b. in B, fg. - 2 cor., tr. in B, trb. - perc. (2 esec: campli., crot., vibr., 5 gong, 5 cmpc., trg., 3 ptti.,, tam-tam, burma bell, ring tambourine, sleigh-bells, 4 bongo, gr.c., 2 vibraslap, 2 Korean stone plate, 2 pebble) - arpa, pf./cel. - strings: 6 vl. 1, 6 vl. 2, 6 vla., 4 vlc., 2 cb.
23 min

Movements, parts
I. Tanzlied / Dance Song
text: Táncdal (poem by Sándor Weöres)

II. Nonsens Songs
text: Arany kés forog - extract / Barbár dal - extract (poems by Sándor Weöres)

III. (Passacaglia) (Intrada-Saltarello-Bourrée-Passepied-Gigue-Allemande-Finale)
text: POLYRHYTMIA (poem by Jayadeva transcribed in Hungarian phonetic pronunciation by Sándor Weöres)

WEÖRES, Sándor; Jayadeva
Commissioned by
Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco
Premiere information
29 September 2013, Auditorium Rainier III (MC), Monte Carlo; Daniel Ciampolini (perc.), Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Andrey Boreyko (cond.)

31 October 2019, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, MÜPA - Palace of Arts, Budapest; Martin Grubinger (perc.), Hungarian National Philharmonic, Péter Eötvös (cond.) (Hungarian premiere)
Publisher / Source
Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG Mainz © 2013, 55443 (Full score)

Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG Mainz © 2019, BAT 56 (Solo part)
Available here!
Video recording, 2016 - Martin Grubinger (perc.), hr-Sinfonieorchester – Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Vasily Petrenko (cond.) (Available on
Alpha Classics CD Alpha 208, 2016 - Martin Grubinger (perc.), Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France, Péter Eötvös (cond.)
1 min. sample
1 I. Dance Song
2 II. Nonsens Songs
3 III. Passacaglia
Remarks, other info
Composed: 2012 - 2013

Based on texts b Sándor Weöres and Jayadeva