Hungarian Festival

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Hungarian Festival

Zoltan Kodaly (1882 - 1967)

Hary Janos Suite

1. The Fairy Tale Begins

2. Viennese Musical Clock

3. Song

4. The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon

5. Intermezzo

6. Entrance of the Emperor and His Court

Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886) orch. Franz Doppler

Hungarian Rhapsody No.1 in F Minor (originally No.14)

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in D Minor (originally No.12)

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D Major (originally No.9)

Jeno Hubay (1858 - 1937)

Hejre Kati, Scene from the Czarda, Opus 32 No.4

Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869)

Hungarian March (Rakoczy March)

Zoltan Kodaly shared with Bela Bartok the task of collecting andcodifying the folk-music of Hungary and adjoining regions once part of theAustro-Hungarian Empire, and of creating from this a new national tradition,distinct from the purely Austrian and German schools of composition representedby some of the more conservative musicians in Budapest, and distinct, too, fromthe spurious so-called gypsy tradition that had found such favour in thenineteenth century.

The opera HaryJanos, more of a popular tale than a true opera, was first performed in theHungarian capital in 1926. It centres on the exploits, largely imaginary, ofthe soldier Hary Janos, an inveterate liar, who sits in the tavern, tellinganyone who will listen to him of his famous adventures, escapades that includethe personal defeat of the French Emperor Napoleon, a love affair with theEmpress Marie-Louise, the shifting of the frontier single-handed, and, ofcourse, the receipt of lavish honours bestowed upon him by a grateful Emperor.

The music, like the story, is essentially Hungarian. Its introduction,the opening of the Fairy-Tale, suggests that w hat will follow has all theexaggeration of a dream. In the Suite taken from the opera the excerpts are notkept in their original order, but the Prelude is followed by the famous musicalclock of Vienna, with its model soldiers that mark the hour.

The Song thatforms the third movement of the Suite is the love-duet between Hary Janos andhis first love, Orzse, to whom he finally returns, a folk-song played first bythe solo viola and then transformed by the orchestra. It is followed by themock-epic in which Napoleon and the Marseillaise are put to flight, themovement ending in a funeral march, dignified by a melancholy saxophone.

The Intermezzo is in the form of a Hungarian verbunkos, a recruitingdance, a musical means of augmenting the imperial forces, at a time when othercountries used drink and the press-gang. It leads to the last movement of theSuite, the Entrance of the Emperor and His Court, the climax of the hero'scareer, in his own imagination. A brisk march introduces the Royal Guard andthe Emperor himself, to a highly coloured orchestral accompaniment.

The great pianovirtuoso Franz Liszt was born in 1811, the son of a steward employed by theEsterhazy family, in whose service Haydn had spent most of his career. Hisfirst public concert, as a boy, in Pozsony (Bratislava), aroused sufficientinterest among the nobility for him to be sent to Vienna, where he had lessonsfrom Czerny and was, allegedly, kissed by Beethoven, who listened to hisplaying, in spite of the fact that he was almost stone deaf. The family movedsoon after this to Paris, where Liszt passed his adolescence, while undertakinga series of concert tours. His career as a virtuoso brought him enormous fameand popularity, while his association with the Countess Marie d'Agoult, amarried woman who bore him three children, aroused sufficient scandal to inducehim to leave Paris. In 1848, having already parted company with the Countess,he moved to Weimar as director of music and was joined there by PrincessSayn-Wittgenstein, the estranged wife of a Russian nobleman, from whom she wasto seek a divorce.

In Weimar Liszt turned his attention to composition, and in particularto the creation of a new form, the symphonic poem. The later part of his lifewas divided between Rome, where, when marriage with Princess Sayn-Wittgensteinwas forbidden by the Vatican, he took minor orders and interested himself inthe music of the Church, Weimar. where he held court as an authority on the newmusic and on the art of piano-playing, and Hungary, where he was regarded as anational hero. He died in 1886 during the course of a visit to Bayreuth, wherehis daughter Cosima had married the composer Richard Wagner.

Later musicians,notably Bartok and Kodaly, have had occasion to point out the confusion in theminds of Liszt and his contemporaries on the matter of gypsy music. For Lisztthe gypsy represented freedom from the constraints of society, echoed in thepassionate intensity of their music. Bartok, who had undertaken a careful studyof Hungarian folk-music, was to point out that the music played by gypsy bandswas in general composed by Hungarian gentlemen and was in fact popularart-music rather than primitive folk-music, however abandoned the style ofperformance.

Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, whatever their provenance, captured theinterest of Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. The very titleRhapsody was something new, and suggested the finer flights of imagination,untrammelled by the restrictions of the sonata. The fourteenth Rhapsody, in theoriginal published collection for piano, is in the manner of a funeral march,while the ninth of the fifteen Hungarian Rhapsodies, Carnival in Pest, is awork of overt nationalism, and appeared in various arrangements by thecomposer. The second has always been one of the most popular of the set. A groupof six of the Rhapsodies were orchestrated by Liszt with the help of theflautist and conductor Franz Doppler, one of the founders of the HungarianPhilharmonic Orchestra, in 1853, who visited Liszt in Weimar in the followingyear.

Jeno Hubay,otherwise known as Eugen Huber, was born in Budapest in 1858, the son of theprofessor of violin at the Budapest Conservatory that Liszt had established,who was also Kapellmeister of the Hungarian National Opera. Hubay studied theviolin with Joachim in Berlin, and made his early career in Paris and Brussels,before returning to Hungary in 1886 to succeed his father at the Conservatory,where he taught Jelly d'Aranyi and Joseph Szigeti, among other distinguishedpupils. As a composer he turned his attention to various genres, includingopera, ballet and the symphony, but will be popularly remembered both as agreat violinist and as a composer of smaller pieces for the violin, of whichthe Hungarian Hejre Kati is a well known example.

Hector Berlioz didsome violence to the geography of Goethe's great drama Faust in order tointroduce the famous Rakoczy March, which he had arranged and used for asuccessful concert in the capital Pest, into his Damnation of Faust. The marchitself, by an anonymous Hungarian composer, celebrates the Hungarian patriotCount Rakoczy, who led a rising against Austrian rule in the early eighteenthcentury.

The Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra

The HungarianState Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1923 under the name of the Budapest MunicipalOrchestra. After the grave losses sustained during the Second World War, theorchestra was reorganized by Ferenc Fricsay and Laszlo Somogyi. In 1949 itadopted the name of Hungarian State Symph
Item number 8550142
Barcode 4891030501423
Release date 12/01/2000
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Balogh, Ferenc
Composers Berlioz, Hector
Liszt, Franz
Kodaly, Zoltan
Liszt, Franz
Berlioz, Hector
Hubay, Jeno
Kodaly, Zoltan
Conductors Antal, Matyas
Antal, Matyas
Orchestras Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra
Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra
Producers Hezser, Zoltan
Disc: 1
Rakoczy March
1 The Fairy Tale Begins
2 Viennese Musical Clock
3 Song
4 The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon
5 Intermezzo
6 Entrance of the Emperor and his Court
7 No. 1 in F minor
8 Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 In D Minor (Who Framed Ro
9 No. 6 in D major
10 Scene from the Czarda, Op. 32, No. 4
11 Rakoczy March
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