Exhibition of Imre Nagy and the charity concert of Ferenc Demjén at the former County Hall.

The ageless Ferenc Demjén

The original article was written by Andrea Szabó , and was published in the county's newspaper Nógrád Megyei Hírlap on 11. May 2010. Photographies by István Kovalcsik.

 This article was taken from the webpage of  the Circle of Friends of Balassagyarmat.

Further photographies by István Kovalcsik of the event can be seen  here


On the first Sunday of May, Béla Majdán town-historian, secretary of the István Kertész  Foundation, invited the citizens of the town and the area for a heart-warming event. His guest was a unique artist, and it wasn't the first time he managed to invite extraordinary people to our little city for charity reasons.

After Iván Markó's Hungarian Festival Ballet, János Bródy, the so called Mini Microscope Stage, Gábor Presser and the  Budapest Klezmer Band, Ferenc Demjén, or as everyone knows him "Rózsi", was next in the line. This chain of events -in which  all the performers were related to the jewish culture somehow -, served the goal to raise money for the István Kertész Foundation, which is functioning since 1992 , and it does a nationally and sometimes even internationally recognized  work, guarding the cultural heritage of this city.

The night was still young, but the visitors already gathered in the assembly hall of the former County House, like they did in every half year recently. In the hallway there was an exhibition from the photographs of a well-respected, former high school teacher Nagy Imre, who retired after teaching for decades in the Balassi Bálint High School, and who  is also a freeman of the city. The organizers of the event borrowed the beautiful pictures, the fruits of the teacher's love for nature, from the offices and homes of the local citizens, for this unconventional, one day only exhibition.




András Kanyó art teacher and his students played on flutes, then Ferenc Kovács , who was a colleague of  Nagy Imre for four decades,  called the visitors's attention to the exhibition and the pictures from the trips to the valley of the Ipoly, which served as an eternal muse. The pictures were taken at the "Égerláp" (Alder Marsh) at Ipolyszög , and in the valley of side-creeks of the Ipoly between Ipolyvece and Őrhalom, and shows us the flora and fauna of this magical scenery.




Main event of the night, organized by the István Kertész  Foundation, was the performance of  Ferenc Demjén, writer of hundreds of popular songs,  winner of multiple national and international awards. He pointed out that he arrived to our city on the month of love, in May. The songs he sang  - Repülünk (We are flying)Féktelen éj (Unrestrained night), Hogyan tudnék élni nélküled? (How can I live without you?), Szerelemvonat (Train of love)  - were almost all about the love of life.  The long applauses, and the moments, when the crowd began singing spontaneously showed, that, much like Gábor Presser 's music, songs of "Rózsi" are able to bind together generations, his tunes are everlasting. The whole concert was a great success, but the absolut emotional climax came, when he sang the main theme of the movie Honfoglalás (A movie about the Settlement of the Magyars) and the crowd sing along the line: "Ha nincs hely, ahol élj, indulj hazafelé." ("When there is no place, where you can live, its time to return home")

 Naturally the audience wanted encore. And Demjén said farewell with maybe his most famous song A szabadság vándorai (Wanderers of Freedom), and he wished many good years to come for Balassagyarmat.

Béla  Majdán closed the event with the words: - "We were able to revisit our youth for a brief time"-, then György Deák , a musician from Balassagyarmat played on the piano. He performed some of the absolute classics of the 70's, and also recalled  some of  Demjén's songs - Mindig ugyanúgy (Everytime is the same), Darabokra törted a szívem (You broke my heart into peices), Úgy szeretném (I'd like it so much) - to thank the unforgettable night to the singer.




We could say, that the whole evening, just as the wild flowers on the pictures of the exhibition, reminded us to spring and to the renewal. After the performance of Demjén Ferenc ended, the audience sang the song: "Jöjj vissza vándor" ("Come back, wanderer") as a sign of gratitude, and the famous artist almost cried in the end, when he realized how much his songs burned into the hearts and minds of those, who like the pop culture of Hungary, into the souls of the hungarian people.

Translated by Majdán Béla Jr. (lectored by the ed.)

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