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

Alice Études


Original / Hungarian title
Alice Études
Foreign language / English title
Alice Études
For clarinet and string quartet
to the Farallon Quintet
Year of composition

Chamber Music
Number of players
cl. - strings: vl. 1, vl.a, vla., vlc.
27 min

Movements, parts
1. Down the Rabbit Hole - (Homage to György Ligeti)
2. The Pool of Tears - (Homage to David Del Tredici)
3. A Mad Tea Party
4. Through the Looking Glass (Homage to Unsuk Chin)
5. Wool and Water
6. Shaking Shaking (On a Taylor Swift song)
7. Waking (Homage to Tom Waits)

Premiere information
13 January 2017, Old First Church, San Francisco; Farallon Quintet: Natalie Parker (cl.), Dan Flanagan (vl.), Matthew Oshida (vl.), Elizabeth Prior (vla.), Jonah Kim (vlc.)
Publisher / Source
Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest © 2017, Z. 15076
Available here!
BMC CD 274, 2018 - Gábor Varga (cl.), Nathan Giem (vl.), Gergely Popa (vl.), Tamás Cs. Nagy (vla.), Árpád Amirás (vlc.) Gergely Vajda (cond.)
Remarks, other info
"Each movement is inspired by a quote from Lewis Carroll’s books: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through The Looking Glass’. From scenes like experiencing time in slow pace while falling really fast, through the combinatorics problem of changing seats around a circular table while having no tea in your cups, to the challenge of living backwards and remembering forwards, I wanted to create my own musical Alice World. All movements deal with one, two or tops three musical ideas making the composition a collection of étude-like pieces. The last of the seven études called ‘Waking’ is a variation on the first one entitled ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ creating a frame to this dream world of my clarinet quintet. Three movements are dedicated to three classical-contemporary composers whose oeuvres were heavily influenced by these two books of Carroll as well: György Liget, David del Tredici and Unsuk Chin. As an inclusive and somewhat provocative gesture I composed my own take on a song by Taylor Swift in the movement ‘Shaking’. We all coexist in Wonderland regardless of style and genre.‘Alice’ connects us all."



Title Publisher
Gergely Vajda: Clarinet Symphony BMC Records