Complete your “Varga collection” with a precious piece which pays homage to Marián’s work! We are issuing a box containing 15 newly remastered albums, a CD with unpublished bonuses, a complex book full of reflections of experts, interviews, photogpraphs.
Author: Spol. Mariána Vargu
50 years ago saw the appearance of the most important Slovak rock album (or even Czechoslovak rock album, according to the critic Jiří Černý) RING, BELLS, RING. If Marián was sitting here with us today, probably he’d take a pull of his cigar, narrow his eyes and, as if it didn’t concern him in the slightest, toss in a comment along the lines of: “And so what? No one today knows anything about it.” But that’s precisely what we do not want to let happen! Because Marián’s music is some of the best that ever appeared in Czechoslovakia, and quite definitely it does not belong to the past. Now, oblivion can easily happen. Scarcely any radios play this music, and the label for which Marián recorded all his essential albums has ceased to exist. The Marián Varga Society, however, immediately on its foundation in 2017, resolved to issue the collected works. We managed to acquire licences, gathered the best, added unpublished bonuses, surveyed the personal archive, and so in little more than a year we have in hand an exclusive limited edition, Marián Varga Collected Works I.
To publish a valuable collector’s item, to which we have given the title Marián Varga Collected Works I. The 16 CD box will include the essential albums – from Ring, Bells, Ring, through all the joint albums with Pavol Hammel, to a CD with recorded rarities (Baba Jaga, Concentrated Sorrow..., Radiopalác, Praha 1970) in an entirely new sound remastering. We will complement these with an extensive publication containing unique responses to each album from its appearance (reviews, interviews, polemics) and continuing on to the thoughts of present-day experts on Varga’s music. The entire work is presented in an exceptional graphic design and with rich photo documentation. We are working on something that nobody else will ever publish in this form.
We’re a large team and we‘ve been working enthusiastically on this project for over a year and a half. Now, however, we’re approaching the final step: the production. So as to bring this to a successful conclusion, we require your help. With your donation of choice you will make it possible for the work to be actually published, so that it does not remain “in the drawer” but makes its way to you, Marián’s fans!
“The collected albums entitled Marián Varga Collected Works I will be exceptional, presenting famous recordings in a new sound design. We have approached each album with great precision, attempting to give the well-known pieces a “brushed-up” sound in the spirit of Marián’s own thinking. We consider it essential that the musical redesign is created from the original analogue recordings. This unique collection will be appreciated, we believe, both by the faithful fans of Varga’s music and by others who do not yet have a thorough knowledge of his work. It is marvellous music, and for us it is a great honour to contribute to the ‘renovation’ of its sound.”
Robert Pospiš & Martin Sillay
Real Music House recording and postproduction studio
"Part of the CD box Marián Varga Collected Works I will be an extensive 200-page-plus booklet – a textual and pictorial guide to each of the sixteen CDs. This mosaic of period reviews, interviews, essays, and initiates’ views of the background of Marián’s creative work will certainly give added intensity to the experience of hearing the music. Further contributing to the diversity of the mosaic, there are numerous rare photographs and documents of the time (notation records, posters, unused designs for record sleeves, and so on). A large part of this material has never previously been published. Just as Marián’s music delighted in crossing the boundaries of genres and evading “pigeonholing”, likewise this booklet is not altogether a classical publication. While it’s an engaging book to read, at the same time it’s a “time-gathering” document, a pictorial album, or a marvellous “black box”, which enables us here and now to get the feeling of those moments when people waited for every new “disc” of Marián’s as if looking forward to a festival. A unique book for reading, looking at and remembering..."
writer, editor of the accompanying publication
"Doubtless only a very few people, a closely-involved group who always had an interest in Marián’s work, have ever heard of “the red suitcase”. For many years Peter Peteraj, one of Marián’s friends and partner musicians, had charge of it. The suitcase contained precious recordings on tape recorder spools. Marián habitually recorded not only many concerts but also rehearsals. That was not because of narcissism. As another friend (Kamil Peteraj) recalls, Marián analysed his recordings interminably, to the point of self-torture. The reason was obvious: since it is an attribute of bigbeat that the pieces do not have notational fixity and they develop in process, Marián was looking for their weak spots and improving them. And thus we have surviving rare (though I must point out, amateur) recordings of a number of concerts and especially compositions that were never published, which the Collegium musicum played in its wild beginnings, for example in the Lucerne in Prague or the Rádiopalác in 1970. Recording tapes, however, were precious articles then and many of them were used several times, so that older sound layers were overlaid. Other recordings were, alas, erased by a relative of Marián’s who set more value on “foreign bigbeats”. At some time in the 1990s the “red suitcase” found its way to the bigbeat enthusiast Peter Pišťanek. He managed to transfer some of the recordings to CDs, and those are now in the hands of the professionals at Real Music House, who are attempting to get the acceptable maximum from them. I believe that the result will be the best possible. Every fan, I think, will enjoy the recording of Baba Jaga (Musorgskij, Images from an Exhibition), which the Collegium stopped playing when it turned up by coincidence in the repertoire of ELP; also Concentrated Sorrow, where you will recognise another Collegium musicum piece, (a composition by Dušan Hájek, whose title the author himself is trying to remember); and other rarities besides..."
Because Marián’s music is world-class despite the fact that it never reached the world, since we were living behind the Iron Curtain. It is a map of history for current and future generations. His music was a breath of freedom in the dark age of communism. And this is a systematic record of the work of one powerful figure in our musical culture. Marián managed to capture the expression of a number of generations, and his music reached beyond his own age.
“I was born in the year 1969, when Ring, Bells, Ring was recorded. I grew up in the period of those records and recordings; very early on I became aware of them, I started to notice them and listen to them, and they influenced me strongly. Marián made music which liberated me inwardly. Afterwards I came to know him personally. I took inspiration from the name of a record of his for my own festival, and together with Marián I played many concerts and other appearances. He wrote compositions which I premiered and which I often play. Some of them he dedicated to me personally. He became my friend. My collaboration on Collected Works I is an expression of my gratitude for what he has given by his work, and what he created for thousands of people.”
cellist, founder and director of Convergences Festival and president of SMV
Many of you have the complete collections of albums. But this is something new and different, something which happens only once. And furthermore, by the decision of those who were closest to Marián: his wife Janka, nephew Jakub, and those personal friends whom he knew best.
We are not a professional publishing house and this is not “one of our titles”. It is an exceptional project which we have been working on for over half a year and into which we have put heart, time and energy. You will feel that, we believe, from the collection, at home before Christmas, when you unwrap it piece by piece.