Magyar Zene Music Quarterly





Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly


Vol. 51 , No. 3 - August 2013







A történész és a hangok
Forráskutatói tűnődések
The Historian and the Sounds
Reflections on the Sources and Research (Abstract)
A népi harmonizálástól a népdalok harmonizálásáig 369
From Folk Harmony to Harmonizing Folksongs (Abstract) 383
Retrospektív liturgikus- zenei forrásunk új megvilágításban:
a 17. századi Medvedics- rituále
A Retrospective Liturgical- Musical Source in a New Light:
the So- Called Medvedics Ritual from the 17th Century (Abstract)
Az utolsó tekercs 400
Krapp’s Last Tape
29 Unpublished Liszt Documents from the Richard-Wagner- Archives, Bayreuth (Abstract)
A csodálatos mandarin átlényegülései
A műfajválasztás jelentősége Bartók pantomimjának keletkezéstörténetében
The Transubstantiation of The Miraculous Mandarin
The Significance of Genre in the Composition of Bartók’s Pantomime (Abstract)

Short Contribution


Egy liszt tulajdonában lévő Delacroix- rajz:
Hamlet és Horatio a temetőben és a 19. századi Hamlet- recepció
Hamlet and Horatio with the Gravediggers and 19th Century Hamlet-Reception (Abstract) 455



Minden, amit népzenénk új stílusáról tudni kell
Bereczky János: A magyar népdal új stílusa I–IV.
Az operett „csillagos órái”
Heltai Gyöngyi: Az operett metamorfózisai, 1945–1956


The whole issue (pdf)








The Historian and the Sounds
Reflections on the Sources and Research


Until quite recently the whole of historiography has dealt almost exclusively with written sources. In part a role in this was probably played by the fact that techniques that can be used to record historical sound material (from written shorthand to the tape- recorder) have been developed in modern times, while the methodology of researching historical resources evolved basically in the premodern era. In this essay – without wishing to intrude upon the area of the study of musicological sources – I treat a number of fundamental examples which offer the historian an opportunity to study together both the written and sounding sources – how can he put this situation to good use?
This problem cannot be ignored by traditional political history, or still less by legal history. We should think of the shorthand recording of parliamentary speeches, and the publication of the minutes. In legal history it is also an important matter whether during the trial in court the statements of the accused and the witnesses are recorded in their entirety, or are summarized by the judge speaking into a tape- recorder, the version written into the minutes being his “condensed” one. The questions sorrounding the transcribing of spoken material also play a decisive role today in preparing and making use of the sources of socalled “oral history”.
By focussing on the above topics I have attempted to ask the question – should a historian, whether traditional or modern, be in this matter “tone deaf”?


György Kövér (1949) was born in Hajdúböszörmény. He gained a teaching diploma in History and Russian Language and Literature in 1973 at the Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen. He is a Professor at the Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest. Since 2001 he has been in charge of Social and Economic History doctoral programme. He is a founding member and committee member in the István Hajnal Circle – Association for Social History (its president from 1997 to 2004). He was awarded in 1999 the György Ránki prize of the Soros Foundation Committee, and in 2012 the Academic Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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From Folk Harmony to Harmonizing Folksongs


According to the data and sources Bartók did not consider the use of harmony essential for the style of this musical culture based on the peasant music first of all of the Hungarians, Romanians, and Slovakians. We must not forget that he became familiar with folk music mostly through unison singing. And due to the small amount of data [concerning harmonization in folk music] as compared to the totality of the collected material, he simply did not have the chance to assess the gravity of the issue. It was only much later that issues of folk harmonization were subjected to a comprehensive examination. Some practices of the harmonization notated in historical sources of the 17th–18th centuries are similar to that in folk music. All of them should be compared with the harmonization in the folk song arrangements of Bartók and Kodály. The main difference is that the accompaniment created by these composers is always structured according to the individual voices in either simple or more complex ways. In contrast to this kind of complexity, the folk music practice uses an accompaniment where the harmonization tends and likes to follow the melody. The harmonies come into being as a result of a relatively simple procedure and actually the melody appears in every part of the accompaniment. This phenomenon is similar to the functional- like harmonizing found in the folk music practice, where each member of the instrumental ensemble seeks to play the sensitive leading notes of the melody.


Pál Richter was born in Budapest (1963), graduated from the Liszt University of Music as a musicologist in 1995, and obtained his PhD degree in 2004. His special field of research is the 17th century music of Hungary, and he conducted his PhD research into the same subject. Other main fields of his interest are Hungarian folk music, classical and 19th century music theory and multimedia in music education. Since 1990 he has been involved in the computerized cataloguing of the folk music collection of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and has participated in ethnographic field research, too. In 2005 he was appointed the head of the Folk Music Archives of the institute. He regularly reads papers at conferences abroad, publishes articles and studies and teaches music theory and the study of musical forms at the Liszt University of Music in Budapest, where since 2007 he has been the head of the new Folk Music Department.

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A Retrospective Liturgical- Musical Source in a New Light:
the So- Called Medvedics Ritual from the 17th Century


This study deals with a so far little considered compilation of rituals. It originates from the corner of southern Hungary which remained free from Turkish occupation, and from where we have no liturgical chant book sources from the Middle Ages. By c. 1650, when the source was written, the continuity of the centurieslong cultivation of liturgical- chant practice had been interrupted, and since due to the spread of printing, the relevant liturgical books were easily available, the manuscript culture was driven into the background. As a result, the genre of the chant book is neither comprehensive nor representative (as the “classical books” of the Office and the Mass were) but rather the books have mixed contents selected from the liturgical occasions according to the need and the spirit of the age. They are practical, combining ad hoc the description of the services with musical examples.
The eponymous owner and copyist of the Ritual was the priest Balázs Medvedics, who – invited by Count Ádám Batthyány to ease the shortage of priests – entered service in Rechnitz, the Count’s place of residence in the 1640s and 1650s (in all probability before and after writing the Ritual).
The clerical copyist must have been familiar not only with Péter Pázmány’s Rituale Strigoniense of 1625, which came into being after the Council of Trent, but also with some of the ritual editions printed after 1500 that preserved the old Gran (Esztergom) liturgical usage as well as the usage of his own diocese. Classically, the Processional- like prayer, reading and chant material also formed part of the ritual in addition to the ordines of administering the Sacraments. The Medvedics Ritual is practical and conservative in the sense that it displays an adherence to the local heritage together with traces of the re- employment of the old liturgical services and chant material.


Ágnes Papp graduated in musicology (1992) and in church music (1995) at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. In the second half of the 1990s she finished doctoral studies in church music and musicology there as well. Between 1992 and 2001 she was awarded several scholarships and worked as an assistant at the Early Music Department of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1996 she won the “Ciprian Porumbescu” prize of the Romanian Academy for her scholarly work as co- editor of the Codex Caioni saeculi XVII (facsimile and transcriptions). Since 2005 she has been teaching history of music at the Leopold Mozart Music School in Budaörs. Since 2010 she has been a fellow researcher in her former workplace at the Institute for Musicology. She has participated in the international research project “Traditio Iohannis Hollandrini”, which aims at issuing the complete edition of a large corpus of late medieval treatises from Central Europe. Her scholarly scope of activities: studies, articles on topics organ tabulatures, Hungarian catholic hymnals from the 17th–18th centuries, medieval liturgical- musical fragments, late medieval tonaries.

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Krapp’s Last Tape
29 Unpublished Liszt Documents from the Richard-Wagner- Archives, Bayreuth


I have borrowed the title of Samuel Beckett’s play because I am not able to do research work in foreign archives and libraries anymore, but luckily enough I found these 29 copies in my filing cabinet. (They will be published in the original languages, by kind permission of Dr. Sven Friedrich, Director of the Archives, in Quaderni dell’Istituto Liszt, edited by Professor Rossana Dalmonte, with a preface and notes in German.)
Half of the documents are written in French, the other half in German. Many of them are but short messages to friends, acquaintances, and family members. In three of them Liszt mentions his own compositions: these are an autograph concert programme draft from Berlin, 1841, a letter on the publishing of his symphonic poems to Härtel, and a fragment to Dr. Strecker, director of Schott, concerning vol. III of Années de Pèlerinage. There are two telegrams: one sent by Liszt to Princess Wittgenstein, announcing his arrival in Rome. The other was sent “the morning after”, by his butler Miska to the organist Gottschalg in Weimar, announcing the Master’s decease. There are some remarkable autographs, proving how Liszt tried to help Wagner before and during his exile from Germany, concerning the later’s catastrophic financial situation, and a Saxon amnesty. In a long letter to a Belgian writer Liszt gives conscientious and practical advice concerning a projected translation of Wagner’s operas into French, in order to perform them in Brussels. The most significant are the four intimate Liszt- letters, written to Countess Marie Moukhanoff- Kalergis, between 1868 and 1870, which survive only in the German translation by Daniela von Bülow: three of them concern the family scandal Cosima- Bülow-Wagner- Liszt – all of them demonstrate the nobility and fine feelings of Liszt.


Klára Hamburger, born in Budapest, studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Music Academy Budapest, degree 1961. “Doctor of Sciences”, of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2003), member of the Committee for Musicology. Worked as a librarian, an editor of music books (publishing house “Gondolat”, Budapest 1966–1990), Secretary General of the Hungarian Liszt Society (1991–2005). Books: Liszt, a biography, in Hungarian [Budapest: Gondolat, 1966, 1980], in German: Franz Liszt [Budapest: Corvina Press, 1973, 1987] and in English [Budapest: Corvina Press, 1987]. Franz Liszt Leben und Werk. [Weimar
–Köln–Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 2010.] A Concert Goer’s Liszt- Handbook, in Hungarian [Liszt kalauz, Editio Musica Budapest, 1986]; Liszt Ferenc zenéje (The Music of F. Liszt). Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2010; Franz Liszt. Lettres à Cosima et à Daniela [Mardaga, Sprimont, 1996]); Franz Liszt. Briefwechsel mit seiner Mutter. [Eisenstadt, 2000]. Studies in Hungarian, American, English, French, Dutch, Swedish, Russian periodicals and series. Editor of Franz Liszt. Beiträge von ungarischen Autoren [Budapest: Corvina, 1978]; Liszt 2000 [Budapest: Hungarian Liszt Society, 2000]. Papers at different international conferences in Hungarian, German, English, French, Italian. Award for Excellence of the American Liszt Society, 1994. Szabolcsi Prize, 2007.

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The Transubstantiation of The Miraculous Mandarin
The Significance of Genre in the Composition of Bartók’s Pantomime


Bartók composed The Miraculous Mandarin (libretto by Melchior Lengyel, 1917) between October 1918 and May 1919 but, despite renewed efforts and even negotiations with opera houses, he could only orchestrate it in 1924. By that time, the composer had significantly revised the work making the music more succinct and changing the final section (2nd ending; see Ex.7 for a transcription of the 1st ending). Early on, Bartók emphasised the fact that the work was conceived as a “pantomime” (a dramatic genre) rather than a “ballet” in his correspondence with his publisher, the Universal Edition in Vienna. The choice of genre for the Mandarin seems to be crucial for understanding the troubled history of its composition and gradual revisions. After the publication of the four- hand piano score in 1925 and the famously banned first performance on stage in Cologne in 1926 of the already revised music, Bartók further reworked the closing part, the final embrace and the death of the Mandarin (3rd ending), instigated by the rehearsals for the planned but cancelled Budapest performance in 1931. He finally consented to a planned performance to be directed and choreographed by Gyula Harangozó in 1941 in Budapest, yet another cancelled staging, whose preparatory discussions might have resulted in the last cuts integrated in the first full score and the revised edition of the piano score published in 1955 by Universal Edition. Apart from a discussion of all primary and secondary sources (separately listed and described in the appendix) musical examples reproduce passages that show how Bartók reshaped his composition from the original “gesture” music into a symphonic style (Exx.4a–b, 5 and 6). Central to the article are the scene following the appearance of the Mandarin (Ex.3 and Facs.1) and the evolution of the final melodic outburst at figure 108 (Ex.8).


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 Hungarian Quarterly, International Journal of Musicology, Magyar Zene, Musical Quarterly, 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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Hamlet and Horatio with the Gravediggers and 19th Century Hamlet-Reception


This study focuses on two works in different genres based on the theme of Hamlet, and looks for the links that join them together. One of them is a drawing by Delacroix dedicated to Liszt which illustrates the cemetery scene from the play, and the other is Liszt’s own symphonic poem Hamlet.
It is my opinion that the portrayal of Hamlet in Delacroix’s cemetery scene, together with that of the protagonist of the play presented in musical form in Liszt’s symphonic poem, are reflections upon the period’s changed image of Hamlet. The painter’s earlier portraits of Hamlet correspond to the Romantic period’s Goethe- style image of a Hamlet taking refuge in melancholy dreaming, whereas in his last two portraits – which include the drawing here under examination – we can see a change has taken place in Hamlet’s character: he is positively dynamic and manly.
This change can also be felt in German culture, as witnessed by a performance of Hamlet at Weimar, which had a big influence on Liszt. The actor who played Hamlet was Bogumil Dawison from Dresden, his portrayal defined by its markedly masculine chartacter, a new interpretation which broke with the Goethe tradition, and whose musical portrayal Liszt outlined in his symphonic poem. That this was the statement of the composer is supported by an analysis of the music: the Hamlet theme with its “to be or not to be” Goethe- like character of pessimistic musing, changes into a dynamic manly Hamlet theme by means of the composer’s characteristic process of thematic transformation. Analysing the two works of art in tandem, we can surmise that the Liszt who was so sensitive to pictorial art saw in the drawing a visual version corresponding to his own image of Hamlet: a pendant to the Hamlet who jumps out at us from his symphonic poem.


Imre Kovács is an art historian. He works as an associate professor at the Department of Art History, Pázmány Péter Catholic University. He gives courses in medieval and renaissance art. He obtained his PhD in Art History at ELTE University, Budapest in 2001. His dissertation examines the medieval iconography of the Holy Face of Christ. Initially his research was focussed on medieval and renaissance iconography, and a recent addition to his field of interests is Liszt and the visual arts. He was awarded three 6- month scholarships from the Soros Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation and an Eötvös scholarship from the Hungarian State to research into different aspects of medieval and renaissance art: (at Edinburgh University; the Warburg Institute of London; the Catholic University, Leuven). He was also awarded a 3- year János Bolyai scholarship by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to carry out research in the field of Liszt and the visual arts. The results of this have been published in Acta Historiae Artium and Studia Musicologica.

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