Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 51 , No. 1 - February 2013

 

 

Contents

 

Articles

 

PETER BLOOM  
Berlioz és Wagner
Epizódok két művész életéből
5
Berlioz and Wagner
Épisodes de la vie des artistes (Abstract)
23
MÁRTA PAPP  
Muszorgszkij elfeledett dalai 25
Musorgsky’s Forgotten Songs (Abstract) 36
ÁDÁM IGNÁCZ  
Körkörösség, szimmetria, linearitás
A forma kérdése Arnold Schönberg Die glückliche Hand című művében
37
Symmetry, Circularity and Linear Thinking
The Question of Form in Arnold Schönberg’s Die glückliche Hand (Abstract)
50
SÁNDOR KOVÁCS  
…és celestára
(Gondolatok a „Zenéről”)
51
…and Celesta
Thoughts on „Music...” (Abstract)
67
MÁRTON KERÉKFY  
Egy elvetett népzenei kollázs
Ligeti György: Hegedűverseny, első változat, első tétel (1990)
68
A Folkloric Collage Jettisoned
The Original Version of the First Movement of György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto (1990) (Abstract)
78

Documenta

 

MARGIT PRAHÁCS  
Emlékek Bartókról 79
Memories of Bartók (Abstract) 90
MÁRTA PAPP  
Levél a szerkesztőhöz 90
[Letter to the Editor] 90

Work in Progress

 

ÁGNES SZASZOVSZKY  
A veszprémi pontifikále 93
The Veszprém Pontifical (Abstract) 112
   
Contents (Abstracts) 2012 115

 

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

PETER BLOOM

Berlioz and Wagner

Épisodes de la vie des artistes

 

When Wagner arrived in Paris in 1839, he would already have known the name and perhaps some of the work of Berlioz, whom he met at that time and with whom he would maintain cordial if distant relations for the next thirty years. This article traces this and subsequent encounters, in Dresden in 1843, in London in 1855, in Paris on the many later occasions the German composer visited the French capital, in their relations with their loyal friend Franz Liszt, and in writing: both men wrote criticism and short stories, both were influential conductors and theorized about orchestral conducting, and both produced memoirs of historical importance. That Berlioz knew no German made it difficult for him to appreciate Wagner’s work, as Wagner himself, ten years younger than the Frenchman, pointed out. That the mature Wagner felt he had entered a musical future that Berlioz did not share made it difficult for him to maintain his early enthusiasm for the music and empathy for the man. His final comment on Berlioz, probably sketched shortly after Berlioz’s death in the spring of 1869, is tortured, and perhaps representative of a kind of affection mixed with fear, a „Liebesangst,” that characterized Wagner’s feelings towards the French nation itself.

 

Peter Bloom is author of The Life of Berlioz (Cambridge University Press) and editor of five collections of essays on Berlioz and his era including Berlioz: Scenes from the Life and Work (University of Rochester Press). He is editor of volumes 7 (Lélio ou Le Retour à la vie) and 24 (Grand Traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes) of the New Berlioz Edition (Bärenreiter) and coeditor of the Dictionnaire Berlioz (Flammarion). His study of Berlioz and Shakespeare appeared in volume XI (2012) of Great Shakespeareans (Continuum). He is a member of the editorial board of the Critique musicale d’Hector Berlioz (Buchet/Chastel) and is preparing volume IX of Berlioz’s Correspondance générale (Flammarion). Bloom is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

 

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MÁRTA PAPP

Musorgsky’s Forgotten Songs

 

Among the late songs of Modest Musorgsky the five composed in 1877 to poems by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy constitute a special group. Their music is of an evenly high standard, though not so powerful as that of the three song cycles. Still, the composer’s experimental side is still strongly present. Can we consider these five compositions to be Musorgsky’s fourth song cycle? If we can, are they possibly connected psychologically to the neighbouring song cycles Sunless (1874) and Songs and Dances of Death (1875-77) with their bleak death- poetry? What did the 38 year- old Musorgsky seek and find in the poetry of Aleksey Tolstoy? What is the reason for these Tolstoy songs being so forgotten, neither receiving concert performances nor being recorded? The present article, which is part of a larger study of the songs of Musorgsky, searches for the answers to these questions.


Márta Papp studied musicology from 1969 to 1974 at the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy with Bence Szabolcsi, György Kroó and László Somfai. As a musicologist she is an expert on Russian music and has published books and studies on Modest Musorgsky, 19th century Russian music, the pianist Sviatoslav Richter and contacts between Hungarian and Russian composers and their compositions. From 1972 to 2011 she was a producer for the Bartók channel of Hungarian Radio and since 1996 has been the editor in chief of educational programmes about classical music. Since 1982 she has been a professor at the Liszt Ferenc University of Music.

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ÁDÁM IGNÁCZ

Symmetry, Circularity and Linear Thinking

The Question of Form in Arnold Schönberg’s Die glückliche Hand

 

Music history has often regarded Arnold Schönberg’s 1908–1918 period as a unique phase inspired by expressionism. As a consequence musicologists point to the characteristics of atonal music, such as aphoristic brevity, fragmentation and the lack of thematic and motivic elaboration, and even its negation in works ranging from miniatures to monumental compositions.
An only exception to this might be the one- act opera Die glückliche Hand composed by the Viennese master between 1910 and 1913. From the outset critics highlighted traces of constructive composition in this work. Some have discovered the latent presence of a four- act symphonic form in the opera, while others have pointed to the pre- compositional set and a structure built on a basic chord, and as a result have regarded Schönberg’s one- act piece as a direct predecessor of dodecaphonic- serial works. Even though some might not have agreed that a musical form independent of dramatic action and stage direction existed in the work, the view has been present until today that the composition is based on rigorous and elaborate formal characteristics, which are in opposition to the myth of the instinctual composition of atonal music. Does Schönberg’s work really stand out from other compositions of this period? If so, can it be conceptualized as a milestone and boundary which represents the birth of Schönberg as we know him?

 

Ádám Ignácz (b.1981), musical aesthetician. From 2008 to 2012 he was a scholarship student in the doctorate school at Budapest Eötvös Loránd University. His dissertation entitled Composers on the stage. The problem of the portayal of musicians in operas by Scriabin, Schönberg and Pfitzner was submitted last year. From 2006 he was a student at Erasmus College and later was head of a group researching musical aesthetics there, as well as being the chief organizer of the musicological conference here and there in music. From 2008 he taught as a doctoral candidate and a guest lecturer at various universities. From 2007 he has regularly taken part in conferences in Hungary and abroad, as well as writing contributions for Hungarian, German and English periodicals and specialist publications. Since January 2013 he has been a research fellow of the Archive and Research Group for 20th and 21st Century Music under Anna Dalos at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Musicology.

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SÁNDOR KOVÁCS

…and Celesta

Thoughts on „Music...”

 

In 1936 Paul Sacher asked Béla Bartók to compose a new work for the celebratory concert to be organized to mark the tenth anniversary of the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Bartók replied very promptly; apparently he already had plans for a fairly large- scale piece, so this commission was opportune. From the surviving manuscript material the genesis of the work is clearly traceable. When he wrote down the first few bars Bartók may still have had in mind a string quartet, but he soon altered it to a string orchestra apparatus, and in fact while he was writing bar 35 of the first movement he decided to use timpani as well. As he composed the second movement he added further instruments to the apparatus, and he referred to these in his reply to Sacher. It is also clear that to begin with he wrote the whole of the first movement without the celesta part. In the end the title of the work was rather peculiar: „Musik für Saiteninstrumente, Schlagzeug und Celesta” („Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta”) or the French translation of this (with minor discrepancies, with or without diacritics and accents, in various editions of the parts, the spelling in the different Hungarian translations being even more diverse). The question may be raised, why in the title is separate mention made of the celesta, which is generally ranked in the percussion section of symphony orchestras (similarly to the glockenspiel with keyboard). Did Bartók not regard it as a proper percussion instrument? This cannot be ruled out. It is possible, however, that in this work the tone colour of the celesta was of particular importance to him, and also that under no circumstances should this instrument be replaced by any other (for instance, the above- mentioned glockenspiel).
The work is undoubtedly not programme music, but cannot be categorized as so- called „absolute” music either. The role of the celesta, however, may be the very thing that provides a basis for deciphering its presumable or conjecturable poetic content and message. At the same time, the role of the celesta in the first movement warns us that the widely prevalent belief about the importance in Bartók’s works of the golden section and ratio and the Fibonacci numbers (of which in fact this movement would be the main piece of evidence) is an admittedly attractive but probably baseless theory.

 

Sándor Kovács (b.1949) studied piano and musicology at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. After graduating he taught there, becoming head of the Department of Musicology in 2005. In addition he worked at the Bartók Archives at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (until 2001), taught and still teaches at the Béla Bartók Musical Institute at Miskolc University (heading the Institute from 2001 to 2005), and since 1997 has been the editor and programme planner for Hungarian Radio’s weekly New Musical News.

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MÁRTON KERÉKFY

A Folkloric Collage Jettisoned

The Original Version of the First Movement of György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto (1990)

 

The genesis of the Violin Concerto (1990–1992) was, similarly to that of any of Ligeti’s large- scale works composed after 1985, no easy story. Like the Piano Concerto’s premiere in 1986, the first performance of the Violin Concerto on 3 November 1990 in Cologne was incomplete, since only three of the planned five movements had been written by that time. But while in the case of the Piano Concerto, Ligeti simply added two more movements to the already existing three without significantly altering them, he substantially revised the Violin Concerto by rearranging the sequence of the movements and recomposing them. According to him, the main reasons for that thorough revision were the „too many layers and metrical complexities” in the original version and „its rather folkloric atmosphere.”
From the comparison of the two versions of the Violin Concerto it becomes clear that both of Ligeti’s verdicts apply primarily to the first movement, whose salient features are precisely metrical complexities and folkloric atmosphere. The movement includes no fewer than six items of musical material related directly to Hungarian and Romanian folk music that are used as components of an increasingly complex four- and- a- half- minute collage. In the present article the folkloric sources of this musical material are identified (partly on the basis of Ligeti’s jottings to the concerto, now housed in the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel), the structure of the movement is elucidated, and a profound connection is explored between the concerto’s first movement and the third piece, „Vásár,” of Magyar etűdök (Hungarian Studies, 1983), a collage of five quasi- folksongs. But while „Vásár” is rather playful and comic, even if there is undoubtedly some nostalgia behind its attitude, the Violin Concerto’s first movement is more bewildering and, eventually, tragic: the melodies of Ligeti’s „Hungarian, particularly Transylvanian, home” that initially sounded so nice and clear gradually become blurred and confused, the music turns into chaos and disintegrates.
An English version of the present article is to be published in the forthcoming issue of Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung in spring 2013.

 

Márton Kerékfy (1981) studied musicology and composition at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, and, after receiving his degree, he was PhD student at the same institution. The subject of his forthcoming PhD dissertation is going to be the influence of folk music in György Ligeti’s oeuvre. He has been on the staff of the Budapest Bartók Archives since 2005.

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MARGIT PRAHÁCS

Memories of Bartók

 

Ágnes Gádor, the editor of this article, discovered a dossier at the Music Academy, Budapest containing some unpublished writings by Margit Prahács that for the most part deal with musical history and the history of style, as well as including the typescript of part of a book on stylistic problems in music. Some of these writings may have been delivered as lectures. The text published here was written around 1961- 62 and given as a lecture to Danish music teachers.

 

Margit Prahács (1893– 1974): musicologist and aesthetician. At the Music Academy, Budapest she studied piano under Emánuel Hegyi, receiving her piano teacher’s diploma in 1917. In 1925 she gained her doctorate in aesthetics at the Péter Pázmány University in Budapest. From 1926 to 1927 she studied on a scholarship at the Collegium Hungaricum in Berlin. On her return to Hungary she taught the piano at the Fodor School of Music. From 1928 to 1961 she was chief librarian at the Music Academy and from 1937 also a privat- docent at Péter Pázmány University. In the 1930s she pursued research into musical aesthetics and later Liszt research. Important publications: A muzikalitás lelki feltételei [The Psychological
Requisites of Musicality] Budapest, 1925 (dissertation); A zeneesztétika alapproblémái [Fundamental Problems of Musical Aesthetics]. Budapest, 1935; Magyar témák a külföldi zenében [Hungarian Themes in Foreign Music]. Bibliography. Budapest, 1943; „Kiadatlan és ismeretlen Liszt- levelek a Zeneművészeti Fôiskola levéltárában” [Unpublished and Unknown Letters of Liszt in the Archive of the Music Academy]. In: Zenetudományi tanulmányok 3, Budapest, 1955; „A Zeneművészeti Fôiskola Liszt- hagyatéka” [The Music Academy’s Liszt Estate]. Budapest, 1959. In: Zenetudományi tanulmányok 7; Franz Liszts Briefe aus ungarischen Sammlungen 1835- 1886. Budapest, 1966.

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ÁGNES SZASZOVSZKY

The Veszprém Pontifical

 

Research on mediaeval liturgical music is mostly restricted to the Divine Office and the Mass. Scholarly interest in Gregorian chant usually pays little attention to the music associated with other ceremonies. One of the most important reasons for this phenomenon is that the majority of the surviving sources are either Graduals or Antiphonals, that is, codices containing the music for Mass and the Divine Office. The research and study of other notated mediaeval liturgical books is still an on- going process. As part of this effort the Veszprém Pontifical is now being prepared for publication. Among the Ordos of Pontificals we find precious little of notated chant material; and the items we do encounter are usually not specific to Pontificals but are borrowed from elsewhere, typically from the Divine Office. Most of the musical material in Pontificals is contained in the longest episcopal ceremony: the Dedication of churches. In the present treatise we publish the results of the liturgiological and musicological study of the Veszprém Pontifical, offering a more in- depth inquiry of the chant material associated with the ceremony of dedicating churches. In our comparative analysis we made use of numerous Pontificals from abroad and the chant material of the local (Hungarian) version of the Divine Office. In our experience the Veszprém Pontifical’s liturgical order and melodic variants show significant differences both from the foreign parallels and the general Hungarian norms.

 

Ágnes Szaszovszky (1982) is a researcher of mediaeval liturgical chant and an active church musician. She studied at the Department of Church Music of the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and at the Department of Music of the Loránd Eötvös University of Sciences. Besides the university courses she attended, she also studied Latin, paleography and liturgical studies. After graduating, she was a DLA student of the Doctoral School for Church Music. Her thesis on the Dedication Ordo of the Veszprém Pontifical is about to be examined. Since 2005, she published scholarly and practical editions of notated liturgical sources and became an expert in transcribing both mediaeval Latin book- hands and musical notations. For four years – as a member of a research team dealing with mediaeval Hungarian Pontificals – she was engaged on the musical and liturgical analysis of the Dedication Ordo. However, her interest extended to other Ordines and she has published papers on the Coronation ceremonies too. She took part in another research project run by the Institute for Musicology (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), regarding the mediaeval and early modern Graduals of Zagreb. She is a founding member of the Capitulum Laicorum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, a civil association which is working on the reinvigoration of the liturgical Use of mediaeval Hungary. Since 2011 she has been the chapter’s musical leader, in charge of conducting, solo- singing and musical planning.