Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 50 , No. 1 - February 2012

 

 

Contents

 

Articles

 

LÁSZLÓ VIKÁRIUS  
Ecce nomen domini és Isti sunt due olive
Stílus és szimbolika Guillaume Du Fay két „koronázási” motettájában
5
Ecce nomen domini and Isti sunt due olive
Questions of Style and Symbolism in Du Fay’s Two „Coronation” Motets
(Abstract)
29
ZOLTÁN FARKAS  
A toposztól a stílusig: a 18. századi kismesterek zenéjének elemzése – tanulságokkal
2. rész
30
From Topos to Style: Analysing the Music of the 18th Century Kleinmeister.
Questions and Conclusions, Part 2  (Abstract)
 
LÁSZLÓ SOMFAI  
Kritikai kiadás – megjegyzésekkel az előadónak 55
Critical Edition with Notes for the Performer (Abstract) 78
VERONIKA KUSZ  
Egy különös darab: Dohnányi Burlettája 79
A Singular Piece: Dohnányi’s Burletta (Abstract) 90
ANNA DALOS  
Kurtág, az elemezhetetlen
Analitikus utak az első, avantgárd korszak értelmezéséhez (1957–1962)
91
Kurtág – the Composer whose Music Cannot be Analysed
Analytical Ways towards the Interpretation of the First,
Avantgarde Period (1957–1962)
(Abstract)
107
ÁGNES WATZATKA  
Egyházi énekek a népi emlékezetben: befogadás,
transzformáció és újrakomponálás
108
Congregational Hymns in the Memory of the Folk: assimilation,
transformation and recomposition (Abstract)
119
   
   

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 



 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

LÁSZLÓ VIKÁRIUS

Ecce nomen domini and Isti sunt due olive
Questions of Style and Symbolism in Du Fay’s Two „Coronation” Motets


The article is an attempt at a comparative analysis of two significant isorhythmic motets by Guillaume Du Fay, Ecclesie militantis/Sanctorum arbitrio/Bella canunt/Ecce nomen/Gabriel (1431) and Supremum est/Isti sunt (1433). (The respective structures of the pieces are shown in Figures 1 and 2.) Ecclesie militantis, composed for Pope Eugene IV, probably for his coronation, is perhaps the most complex among the surviving fourteen motets of Du Fay (all listed in Appendix 1). Supremum est, based on a freely composed tenor with occasional fauxbourdon sections, was most probably composed for the coronation of Sigismund as Holy Roman Emperor in 1433. The two compositions seem to represent stylistic contrasts that might have something to do with their contrasting basic poetic themes, “war” in Ecclesie and “peace” in Supremum est. At the same time, however, both motets use liturgical quotations to bow before the addressee(s), Pope Eugene (born Gabriele Condulmer) in Ecclesie by a combination of the beginning of two antiphons that read “Ecce nomen Domini: Gabriel” and Pope Eugene together with the King Sigismund in Supremum est by referring to them through the antiphon “Isti sunt due olive.”. Ecclesie is also compared to Du Fay’s earliest known motet, Vasilissa ergo gaude/Concupivit rex decorem. (Music examples 2, 3 and 10 show different possible tonal interpretations of the same passages.) In support of the idea that the composer was probably provided with the text and that perhaps even the liturgical and theological references could have been prescribed or suggested to him Du Fay’s only known letter to Piero and Giovanni de’ Medici in Florence, is quoted, and also given here in Appendix 2 in the author’s Hungarian translation.

 

László Vikárius directs the Bartók Archives of the Institute for Musicology of the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and lectures at the Liszt University of Music in Budapest. His main field of research is centred on Bartók’s life, style and, especially, compositional sources. He has published articles in the Bulgarian Musicology, Danish Yearbook of Musicology, Hungarian Quarterly, International Journal of Musicology, Magyar Zene, Musical Quarterly, Musicologica Istropolitana, Muzsika, Studia Musicologica and Studien zur Wertungsforschung. His study Modell és inspiráció Bartók zenei gondolkodásában [Model and inspiration in Bartók’s musical thinking] was published in 1999 (Pécs: Jelenkor) and his most recent publications include the facsimile edition of Bartók’s autograph draft of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2006), available with commentary in English, Hungarian, German and French. He co- edited, with Vera Lampert, the Somfai Fs (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005), the revised English edition of Vera Lampert’s Folk Music in Bartók’s Compositions (Budapest: Helikon, 2008) and, with János Kárpáti and István Pávai, the CD- ROM Bartók and Arab Folk Music (Budapest: European Folklore Institute, 2006).

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ZOLTÁN FARKAS

From Topos to Style: Analysing the Music of the 18th Century Kleinmeister.
Questions and Conclusions

 

The study discusses the methodological problem of researching composers active in Hungary in the 18th and early 19th centuries, such as G.J. Werner, B. Istvánffy, A. Zimmermann, V. Deppisch, J. Bengraf, G. Druschetzky, J.E. Fuss, J.G. Lickl and others. It does not address the question whether historical correctness excludes the possibility of using the term Kleinmeister in musicology at all, and does not attempt to give a definition of a composer’s greatness. Instead, it reflects on the practical difficulties of Kleinmeister research and analysis, namely:
(1) Blank spots in the biographies: missing documentation makes it impossible to provide precise and detailed biographies. (2) Contemporary and modern encyclopedias are regularly unreliable as they are prone to repeat the mistakes of a single common source. (3) There is a general lack of reliable lists of works, although the RISM database offers great help in compiling them. (4) The number of false attributions is exceedingly high, especially in church music which was disseminated in manuscript copies. (5) The chronology of compositions by a Kleinmeister compositions cannot be established. Dating through style criticism rarely brings reliable results. (6) Most of the surviving oeuvres are highly fragmentary (the sources of theatre music suffered an especially cruel fate). (7) The borders of periods in the history of music in Hungary do not coincide with those valid in the centres of European music. (8) The dominant genres at the centre and at the periphery also diverge. (9) Analytical methods created for the works of the great masters of music history are not necessarily applicable in researching the music of a Kleinmeister. It is helpful to make a difference between those composers who actively participated in the creation of a new musical language („pioneers”, the protagonists of transition) and those of their contemporaries who simply applied the results of an already well- established style and impoverished it to bathos. (10) It is misleading to ask the question what Kleinmeister could learn from his „great” colleagues, as in many cases the learning process took place the other way round. Modern literature on the Kleinmeister often identifies the traditional elements and topoi of composing in the individual oeuvres, but leaves unanswered the question
of how an individual style was formed from these inherited topoi. The second part of the study attempts to illustrate this process.

 

Zoltán Farkas (b. 1964) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and graduated in 1987. Between 1987 and 2006 he worked at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Between 2006 and 2011 he was director of Radio Bartók, the classical music channel of Hungarian Radio. Since 2011 he has been the intendant of the same institution. His scholarly interests are focused on 18th century church music and Hungarian contemporary music.

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LÁSZLÓ SOMFAI

Critical Edition with Notes for the Performer

 

The concept of the historisch- kritische Gesamtausgabe series of the 1950s (the New Bach, Mozart, Haydn, etc., editions) is rightly questioned today. Not least because in making an impeccable text of a scholarly edition a certain self- defensive attitude on the part of editors has priority over the interests of the intelligent user; the text should be eternally valid, the editor does not wish to take the responsibility to answer justifiable questions of the performer. In the case of 20th century composers the source chain of a work from sketches to the printed and revised version(s) is not only much better documented than in the music of Baroque and Classical masters, but some composers (Schoenberg, etc.) explained their special use of performance instructions. In this respect Bartók is an intriguing and wellstudied case, though performers are often misled by contradictory information or supposed authentic traditions. The forthcoming complete critical edition will provide in each volume – not within the Critical Commentaries but before the score – two texts: On Bartók’s Notation (partly standard, partly genre- oriented basic information), and Editorial Notes for the Performer (on each composition of the volume). Samples appear in a three- part APPENDIX: (1) On Bartók’s Notation (from the volume of String Quartets 1–6); (2) On Bartók’s Notation (excerpts from the volume Works for Piano 1914–1920), (3) Notes for the Performer (from the Rumanian Folk Dances for piano).

 

László Somfai, former director of the Bartók Archives of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; also professor emeritus at the F. Liszt University of Music in Budapest. His recent work on Bartók focuses on the thematic catalogue and the complete critical edition in preparation. Latest studies on Bartók include “Perfect Notation in Historical Context. The Case of Bartók’s String Quartets” in Studia Musicologica 47/3–4 (2006), 293–309; “Desiderata Bartókiana: A Survey of Missing Links in Bartók Studies” in International Journal of Musicology 9: Bartók International Congress 2000 (Frankfurt/M: Lang, 2006), 385–420; “Az utolsó Bartók- partitúrák és a »klasszikus« stílus értelmezései” [Bartók’s last works and the “classical” style] in Magyar Zene 47/1 (2009), 3–13; “»Romlott testëm« és a »páva«- dallam. Széljegyzetek Bartók 1. vonósnégyesének egy témájáról” [Notes on the “Peacock” theme of Bartók’s First Quartet] in Magyar Zene 48/2 (2010), 203–213.

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VERONIKA KUSZ

A Singular Piece: Dohnányi’s Burletta

 

Bálint Vázsonyi, Dohnányi’s first biographer, in a short epilogue to his book, pointed out some features, of the composer’s musical style worthy of analysis. Though systematic research into Dohnányi started decades after Vázsonyi’s monograph, the authors of later analytical studies seem to agree with Vázsonyi, since they regard the same aspects – e.g. mixed forms, thematic relationships, individual instrumentation – as the most important features of the composer’s oeuvre. It is not surprising that rhythm has not come into the centre of interest. This study, however, intends to focus on rhythmical–metrical aspects in the analysis of a particular Dohnányi piece, showing that an analytical study should set out from the particular principles of a given musical work, and not from prejudice.

The Burletta (the first of the Three Singular Pieces, Op. 44) was composed in the last period of Dohnányi’s life, and draws our attention by its strange, dissonant sound and continuously changing time signatures. Although in earlier publications the incidental nature and freedom of the time signatures were emphasized, this paper would like to show the opposite, i.e. the regularity and formal function of the changing time signatures. In addition, the study looks for the inspirations and models for the singular piece, briefly summarizing Dohnányi’s relationship to his fellow composers.

 

Veronika Kusz (b. 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 defended her Ph. D. thesis on Dohnányi’s American years in 2010. She is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has published studies on Dohnányi and Pál Járdányi.

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ANNA DALOS

Kurtág – the Composer whose Music Cannot be Analysed

Analytical Ways towards the Interpretation of the First, Avantgarde Period (1957–1962)

 

In 1986 István Balázs put forward his thesis, which has become a recurring element of the discourse surrounding György Kurtág’s oeuvre, that his compositions resist every kind of analytical interpretation. My paper however attempts to present different ways which can lead to an understanding of Kurtág’s music. The pieces written in Kurtág’s first, avantgarde period beginning from his first String quartet (Op. 1, 1959) to the Sayings of Péter Bornemisza (Op. 7, 1963- 68) function as a starting point for my investigation. While these two compositions have been analysed thoroughly, the pieces written between them – Wind Quintet (Op. 2, 1959), Eight Piano Pieces (Op. 3, 1960), Eight Duos (Op. 4, 1961), Signs (Op. 5, 1961), Splinters (Op. 6/c, d, 1962) – are almost neglected by analysts. These early compositions however can be interpreted as preliminary studies for the whole of the composer’s oeuvre. Eight piano pieces can be connected to the Sayings of Péter Bornemisza, while the tones of voice, characters and compositional devices of the other pieces return later, in the compositions of the 70s. Kurtág himself claimed connections between the pieces: he reworked Splinters in 1973 and Signs in 1992. This retrospective analytical method interprets Kurtág’s oeuvre as a unit, in which the poetic principles are constant, and every new composition represents a new elaboration of these same principles. On the other hand these compositions can also be interpreted as documents of Kurtág’s self- redefintion, as well as documents concealing traces of his study of up- to- date compositional techniques.

 

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 the Humboldt University, Berlin (1999- 2000). She is currently working at the Musicological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has been a lecturer on the DLA Program of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music since 2007, and a visiting lecturer at the International Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemét since 2010. Her research is focused on 20th century Hungarian music, and the history of composition and musicology in Hungary. She has published journal articles on these subjects, as well as 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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ÁGNES WATZATKA

Congregational Hymns in the Memory of the Folk: assimilation, transformation and recomposition

 

Similarly to other musical genres, congregational hymns were also assimilated by the folk and performed in the traditional folkloric manner, with specific ornamentation and singing technique. Compared to their printed versions, the congregational hymns collected among the folk show specific differences from small differences of several notes to the total recomposing of a melody. The least variations occur in the form of the songs. The most frequent change is the completion of a three- line strophe to a four- line one, or the reducing of a two strophe melody to its first and simpler strophe. The transformations of the rhythm concern every piece: the different rhythms of the songs are melt in a general rubato style, which follows the rhythm of the speech. The folkloric style ornamentation is applied regularly according to the general singing traditions of the different regions. The most interesting transfomations concern the melody and the cadences. Larger intervals – fourth and fifth – are often decomposed to scale- like moving, but shorter scales can also be replaced by larger intervals. There is a consequent tendency to transform arching melodies into descending scales and repeated notes into a moving melody, to fill out the thirds with an intermediate note. One cannot establish clear rules for these transformations, however the use of fourth and fifth instead of thirds and the predilection for descending melodies are specific features of the Hungarian folk music. The folk tradition decodes a foreign melody on the basis of its own musical structures. The melodies which were collected in all the parts of the historic Hungary in many related variants were the best known pieces of the medieval repertoire: gregorian chants, fashionable songs. Melodies collected in few versions only in a few regions were attractive but difficult ones. Their few pregnant features were well assimilated, all the rest was recomposed by using familiar structures. Melodies collected in only one version, almost identical to the printed one seem to be melodies that could not be assimilated. Following the logic of these experiences, one can state that transformation is a characteristic feature of assimilation. A deeper assimilation leads to a thorough tranformation, the deepest degree of which is a recomposition. By contrast, an almost unalterated melody shows a lack of its true assimilation. The musical examples are taken from the study “XVI- XVII. századi dallamaink a népi emlékezetben” (The Hungarian melodies of the XVI- XVII. century in the memory of the folk) by Szendrei Janka, László Dobszay and Benjamin Rajeczky, Budapest 1979.

 

Ágnes Watzatka (1962) studied musicology at the George Dima Academy of Music in Cluj. She graduated 1985. She studied church music at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest and theology at Pázmány Péter University, Budapest. Since 1992 she has been a member of the research team of the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre.

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