Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 48 , No. 2 - May 2010

 

 

Contents

 

Articles

 

LAJOS ROVÁTKAY  
Battaglia és népdal
Expedíció a 17. századi hangszeres zene egy ismeretlen területére ungaresca- exkurzussal
121
Battaglia and Folksong
An Expedition into an Unknown Area of 17th- Century Instrumental Music – with an Excursion into „Ungaresca" (Abstract)
148
LÓRÁNT PÉTERI  
A márki és a tejesember: a „népi elem" Gustav Mahler 1. szimfóniájának III. tételében 149
The Marquis and the Dairyman: Allusions to “Folk Music” in the Third Movement of Mahler’s First Symphony (Abstract) 160
VERONIKA KUSZ  
„A Wayfaring Stranger” – Dohnányi Amerikai rapszódiája 161
“A Wayfaring Stranger” – Dohnányi’s American Rhapsody (Abstract) 186
VERA LAMPERT  
Motívumos néptáncok Grieg és Bartók műveiben 187
Motivic Folk Dances in the Works of Grieg and Bartók (Abstract) 202
LÁSZLÓ SOMFAI  
„Romlott testëm” és a „páva”- dallam
Széljegyzetek Bartók 1. vonósnégyesének egy témájáról
203
„Romlott testëm” and the “Peacock Melody”
Notes on a Theme of Bartók’s First String Quartet (Abstract)
213
ANNA DALOS  
Una rapsodia ungherese
Új zene és hagyomány Durkó Zsolt művészetében (1965–1972)
215
Una rapsodia ungherese –
New Music and Tradition in Zsolt Durkó’s Art (1965–1972) (Abstract)
224
LUJZA TARI  
Schweizerlied 225
Schweizerlied (Abstract) 236

Review

 

ISTVÁN BALÁZS  
„Könnyű álmot nem ígérhetek”
Jelentés és értelmezés a zenében
237
[Márta Grabócz (Ed.): Sens et signification en musique]  
 

 

 

 

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 



 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

LAJOS ROVÁTKAY

Battaglia and Folksong
An Expedition into an Unknown Area of 17th- Century Instrumental Music – with an Excursion into „Ungaresca"

 

The prototype of the kind of battle scene or battaglia characteristic of Renaissance and baroque music was the four- part chanson La Guerre by Clément Janequin, published in 1528. The special arsenal of musical resources used for this remained the determining factor in the battaglia up to the end of the baroque period. As early as from 1550 onwards, the stylistic features of the battaglia infiltrated the most diverse musical genres, and at the same time certain popular songs began to be adapted into battaglie and works bearing the stylistic marks of the battaglia. (Other links between the popular songs „Girometta” and „Franceschina” revealed by W. Kirkendale.) Up till now not any research has at most merely touched upon
the practice of song- to-battaglia adaptation. The present study analyzes the reasons for this adaptation and the methods used. It establishes that one method, involving a structurally integrated arrangement of the tune of „Franceschina”, bears witness to a high standard of motivic development and also the relevance of the battaglia as „absolute music”. The study also calls attention to the historical aspects of the battaglia style, particularly with reference to the „fixed harmonic space.” In connection with the „ungaresca” adaptation of two examples of the battaglia, the identity of the „ungaresca” melody will require to be examined from new points of view. Comparison of this and other – in some cases new –„ungaresca” finds leads to the conclusion that the „ungaresca” proper (similarly to the heyduckdances) was always an „authentic” melody moving above a fixed ground- note. Mainerio’s well- known  „Ungaresca” (1578), with its „plagal” first phrase, can thus be regarded as an individual – undoubtedly brilliant – solution, with little contemporary dissemination or relevance.

 

Lajos Rovátkay, born in Budapest, studied organ at the Béla Bartók Conservatoire with János Hammerschlag, and music theory with Rezső Sugár. From 1954 he continued his studies at the Liszt Academy of Music, in the fields of musicology (as a pupil of Bence Szabolcsi, Lajos Bárdos and Zoltán Gárdonyi) and organ (as a pupil of Sebestyén Pécsi). After leaving Hungary in November 1956, he continued his studies in Frankfurt am Main in the departments of organ and harpsichord, as a pupil of Helmut Walcha. From 1962 he taught organ and harpsichord at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, and directed the Early Music Studio there. As soloist, chamber music performer, ensemble leader (director of the baroque orchestra Capella Agostino Steffani, among others) and as a teacher, he was a pioneer in Germany of historically informed performance practice. His recordings (EMI, Virgin) represent the most important areas of his artistic activity (early music, baroque music, Agostino Steffani, Austrian late baroque). In his research activity he concentrates on the music of the 16th-19th centuries, including source research carried out in numerous European archives, in the course of which he has made several discoveries.

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LÓRÁNT PÉTERI

The Marquis and the Dairyman: Allusions to “Folk Music” in the Third Movement of Mahler’s First Symphony

 

In this paper I wish to examine the limits within which allusions to folkloristic musical idioms in Mahler’s music can be identified and interpreted.

While being born into a German- speaking Jewish family of one of the Nations of the Bohemian Crown that is Moravia, which belonged to the Austrian Empire, there was no question for Gustav Mahler that his activities as a composer would be realized within the framework of what he thought of as the ’universal’ German musical culture. At the same time, even in the earliest surviving works of Mahler a key role is played by a musical difference from the Austro- German mainstream, namely, by turns of phrase behind which can be felt the influence of various popular or folkloristic practices of East Central Europe. Still, Mahler gave no clue to this musical difference, and never attached the latter to the aims of any national cultural politics. Hence Mahler’s music threw into some confusion the reception of the time, fond of discussing music’s national affiliation. The present study examines that phenomenon through the reception of the third movement of the First Symphony. Contemporary reviewers of the movement concurrently interpreted the ’otherness’ of some musical elements as markers of a distinctively ’Hungarian’, ’Jewish’, or ’Slavic’ musical tradition. Anti- semitic convictions and the construction of an ’eastern periphery’ also played a role in the discourse. I study that discourse in the context of various strategies of Jewish identity which appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and also with regard to the early- 20th- century debates on the conceptualization of ’Jewish music’.
I also wish to demonstrate that some recent scholarly studies of the movement seem to maintain, instead of critically examining, various national attributions of some musical materials of the movement. Still, art music’s references to folk music or national popular music are not finalized facts. Passages of the third movement of Mahler’s First Symphony which are widely regarded as quotations of or allusions to folk music are also apt to be interpeted in a different intertextual web in which their links to other symphonic or dramatic music can be revealed.

 

Lóránt Péteri is a lecturer at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. He received his PhD from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2008. The title of his thesis is „The Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony: A Study of Genre”. Among his latest contributions are the studies „God and Revolution: Rewriting the Absolute: Bence Szabolcsi and the Discourse of Hungarian Musical Life”. In: Blazekovic Z.– Dobbs Mackenzie B. (ed.): Music’s Intellectual History (New York: RILM, 2009); and „Form, Meaning and Genre in the Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony”, Studia Musicologica 50 (2009), 3- 4.

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VERONIKA KUSZ

“A Wayfaring Stranger” – Dohnányi’s American Rhapsody

 

Dohnányi’s last orchestral work, the American Rhapsody, was written for the 150th anniversary of Ohio University. On the model of Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, the composer wanted to use some Ohio student songs in his piece, but later on, experiencing the musical insufficiency of this material, he decided to arrange American folk songs – a decision by which the national character of the work was strengthened a lot. We could assume that the Rhapsody should be interpreted as a symbol of the adjustment (or, at least, the desire of adjustment) to Dohnányi’s new cultural environment, and „a tribute to the New World” – as one of the former analysts of the piece emphasized. This study, however, attempts to prove: basically that the Rhapsody should not be interpreted either like this, nor in the context of 20th- century musical Americanism. Regarding the free use of the source material and the piece’s general musical language, these aspects do not seem to be essential for the composer. The arrangement of the white spiritual entitled The Wayfaring Stranger – which clearly plays a central role in the one- movement work – reminds us so much of Dvoƒák’s slow movement of his Symphony From the New World that we must regard it as a conscious decision. It seems that Dohnányi wanted to emphasize a similar special musical situation: the composer is a stranger in a given – musical – environment. Like the many other, similar examples (e.g. Gershwin’s An American in Paris), the nostalgic elements seem to be much more significant in the Rhapsody than its „message” to the new home. Moreover, the arrangement of the spiritual – and actually many other parts of the work – show definite similarities with certain of Dohnányi’s earlier orchestral compositions (chiefly with parts of the Symphonic Minutes, the Suite in F sharp minor, and the Variations on a Nursery Song). The melodic, textural and dramaturgical connections are so strong that the Rhapsody’s series of colourful pictures seem to be a sort of summary, a film- like playback of the composer’s own personal and musical past. As the wayfaring stranger of the text wanders the earthly world preparing for the comfort of the beyond, so Dohnányi roams through his earlier periods, recalling the tone of his brightest works. Below the shiny surface, however, the composer and listener have to face the fact that for the Rhapsody’s present, only a slightly aimless recalling of the brighter past remained; the attractive appearance hides a lack of actual content. Nevertheless, the composition has a moving and symbolic significance in Dohnányi’s oeuvre or, at least, in his late period.

 

Veronika Kusz (1980, Kaposvár) studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (1998–2003, doctoral studies: 2003–2006). In the academic year 2005/2006 she was a Fulbright Fellow in the United States, conducting research in the American Dohnányi Collection (Florida State University, Tallahassee). She is currently an assistant researcher in the Dohnányi Archives of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; she is writing her Ph.D. dissertation on Dohnányi’s American years (expected in 2010). She has published several studies on Dohnányi and Pál Járdányi.

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VERA LAMPERT

Motivic Folk Dances in the Works of Grieg and Bartók

 

Borrowed material usually undergoes some transformation during composition. Research shows that Bartók made several minor alterations in the strophic melodies in his folk song settings adjusting them to the expectations of the new environment. More substantial intervention can be surmised when the folk sources are less structured than a strophic song. The Norwegian slåtter and a large group of the Romanian folk dances from Transylvania are built of short, two- to- four measure motives which are repeated extempore with minute variations and with no predictable conclusion. While the Norwegian fiddlers have a somewhat different approach to improvisation than the Romanians, repeating each motive before changing it slightly and having a tendency to start them in the higher register and finish in the lower one, the challenge that both present to the composer using them in compositions is quite similar.
Grieg and Bartók used motivic dances in their compositions quite differently, however. Grieg arranged each dance in a separate movement within a loosely constructed series for piano (Slåtter=Norwegian folk dances, op. 72), rather closely following the run of the pieces as they were written down by Johan Halvorsen during a two- week session with the folk- fiddler, Knut Dahle. Profiting from the possibilities of dynamics, registers, and harmonization, inherent to the nature of the piano, Grieg achieved clear- cut forms while evoking the rich sonority of the Hardanger fiddle and the boisterous character of the folk dances. Bartók arranged the melodies for violin and piano, within one structure, in the second, fast (Friss) movement of his 2nd rhapsody. His approach in utilizing the sources also differs significantly from Grieg’s in that he omits several of the folk variations and adds his own to the rest. While the three dances of the first movement of the piece are arranged in rondo form, the melodies in the Friss unfold one after the other, in chain- form, rather in the vein of a Sunday village dance. Choice of tempi and the strategic placement of dances with corresponding motives insure the cohesion of the movement.

 

Vera Lampert (1944) was staff member of the Budapest Bartók Archives from 1969 to 1978 when she moved to the United States. From 1983, she has been music librarian at Brandeis University. The English language edition of her book (Folk Music in Bartók’s Composition: a Source Catalog) identifying the sources of Bartók’s folk song settings was published in 2008. Her other contributions to Bartók research include essays in the Bartók Companion (Oxford, 1993), Bartók and His World (Princeton, 1995), and the Cambridge Companion to Bartók (2001). She was co- editor of the Somfai Festschrift (2005), edited two volumes for the series Bartók Béla Írásai [Béla Bartók’s Writings], and participates in the preparation of the Béla Bartók Complete Critical Edition.

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LÁSZLÓ SOMFAI

„Romlott testëm” and the “Peacock Melody”
Notes on a Theme of Bartók’s First String Quartet

 

In the Allegro vivace finale of the First Quartet there twice appears an Adagio theme (bars. 94–105, 320–329), significantly different from the other themes of the movement, and which is often referred as Bartók’s „peacock melody” because of its resemblance to the emblematic Hungarian old- style folksong that Kodály arranged in several of his later compositions (including the „Peacock” Variations for orchestra). Since Kárpáti’s book on the quartets (1967) Bartók studies have pointed out that he did not know the peacock melody before 1935. Bartók collected, however, „Romlott testëm,” another old- style parlando song with a similar melodic line during his first collecting trip in Transylvania among the Székelys in the summer of 1907. This essay opens the case, and on the basis of data taken from the composer’s field notations in Transylvania, as well as his letters to Stefi Geyer, demonstrates that, although collected during the first days, „Romlott testëm” was not among the tunes he selected for composition (arrangement) in 1907; that his melody in the First Quartet is not a quotation but rather an abstraction inspired by the newly discovered pentatonic scale of the old Székely folksongs.

 

László Somfai (1934). Professor Emeritus at the Liszt Academy of Music (State University) in Budapest and former director (1972–2005) of the Bartók Archives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Recently he has worked on the Bartók thematic catalogue and is editor- in- chief of the forthcoming Béla Bartók Complete Critical Edition. His recent Bartók studies in Magyar Zene include „Bartók 2. vonósnégyese és Kodály ’útbaigazítása’” (Bartók’s 2nd String Quartet and Kodály’s „Critical Faculty”), 46/2 (2008), „Az utolsó Bartók- partitúrák és a ’klasszikus’ stílus értelmezései” (The „Classical” Last Scores of Béla Bartók), 47/1 (2009).

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ANNA DALOS

Una rapsodia ungherese –
New Music and Tradition in Zsolt Durkó’s Art (1965–1972)

 

During the 1920s Bence Szabolcsi developed the theory that Zoltán Kodály – relying on folk music and the residua of Hungarian music – filled in the missing links of Hungarian music history with his compositions. Kodály never confirmed Szabolcsi’s theory, but it had a significant impact on the thinking of several generations of Hungarian composers. Zsolt Durkó, on returning from Petrassi’s masterclass in Rome in 1963, brought back new ideas from western Europe, and his 1964 compositions Organismi and Psicogramma made him the leading figure of the Hungarian musical avant- garde. But one year later he turned back to the Hungarian tradition with his orchestral composition Una rapsodia ungherese, and with this act he affected the contemporary musical discourse significantly, re- affirming the historical tendencies displayed by Kodály. My paper attempts to reveal what kind of considerations led Durkó to his neo- conservative turn. I analyse Durkós compositions from Una rapsodia ungherese to Burial Speech (1972) and suggest that the genre of the folk lament functioned as both a technical and poetical starting- point in his shaping of free and fixed structures.

 

Anna Dalos (Budapest, 1973) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, from 1993 to 1998; between 1998 and 2002 she attended the Doctoral Programme in Musicology at the same institution. She spent a year on a German exchange (DAAD) scholarship at Humboldt University, Berlin (1999- 2000). She obtained her PhD degree in 2005. She is currently working at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2008 she has been a lecturer in the DLA Programme of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Her research is focused on 20th century Hungarian music; she has had articles on this subject published in journals, as well as writing short monographs on several Hungarian composers (Pál Kadosa, György Kósa, Rudolf Maros). Her book on Zoltán Kodály’s poetics was published in 2007 in Budapest.

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LUJZA TARI

Schweizerlied

 

This study focuses on a special literary and musical genre, the folksong verse known as the „Schweizerlied”, from its first appearance at the end of the 18th century to the similarly- titled songs of Franz Schubert. J. G. Herder published in 1778 the text of a Swiss folksong (a ballad) under the title Ein Schweizerliedchen. Herder wrote enthusiastically about the melody of the poem, which was first published with melody by J. F. Reichardt in 1781, and again in 1782.
This folksong is the basis of Beethoven’s op. 34 piano variations in F major, „6 leichte Variationen über ein Schweitzerlied” (WoO 64, 1798). The seven movements of Beethoven’s piece correspond to the seven stanzas of the poem, and the music precisely follows the story of the ballad. Zoltán Kodály, in his study entitled A magyar népzene (1937), drew attention to the fact that the basic melody of Beethoven’s piano piece is identical with a Hungarian folk tune. Kodály established that the Hungarian folksong’s melody was probably of German origin. The author of the present study emphasizes that following Herder, in literature Goethe, Schiller, A. von Arnim and others created a fashion for poems of the Schweizerlied type, while Beethoven’s piece served as a model for Schweizerliedtitled musical arrangements and the composition of new Swiss „folksongs”. This type of composition in itself became important to the Swiss people, for whom it is now undoubtedly their representative folksong.
The study reveals that in fact Swiss folksong melody became assimilated into Hungarian folk music, with various texts. In the music of the German- speaking peoples, at the end of the 18th century the folksong, from the point of view of both its melodic structure (AA5BAv) and its subject- matter, was a novelty. The melody of the song may have been introduced to Gyergyó basin (after 1918, Romania) at the turn of the 18th-19th century by German immigrants from different places and ethnic groups, who brought it with them as a new song from their homeland; but of course it may also have spread by some other route.

 

Lujza Tari (*1948), ethnomusicologist, senior researcher at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, associate professor at the Liszt F. Univertity of Music Budapest, 1996– 2007 president of the Hungarian National Committee of the ICTM. Main research field: folk and traditional music in general (interethnic relations in Europe, minorities, research history), musical instruments, instrumental folk music (including the Hungarian tárogató, verbunkos, gypsy bands) and connections between folk- and art music. Field works in several settlements in Hungary and in historical Hungary (in Transylvania/ Rumania, Burgenland/Austria and Slovakia) among Hungarians, Germans, Slovaks, Croats and Rumanians. Outside Europe she has collected folk music in Armenia. Author and editor of books, folk music discs, music casettes, CD- s, CD- ROMs and several studies.

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