Magyar Zene Music Quarterly
Vol. 52 , No. 2 - May 2014
The whole issue (pdf)
Suffering as Basic to Folk Emotional Life in the Music of Mussorgsky
Why does one of the young heroes in Mussorgsky’s song cycle The
Nursery tell the story of an imaginary island where „there’s no
sowing and no harvesting”? What does the hard work of the peasants,
their suffering, their sorrows and consolation, have to do with a
child’s dream? This study, which forms part of a
János Bojti (b.1943) obtained a cello teacher’s diploma in 1966 at the Béla Bartók Music School and a choral conductor’s diploma in 1971 at the Liszt Academy. In 1972 he worked as a musical assistant at Hungarian Radio, from 1973–1993 at Hungaroton records, and until his retirement in 2013, in the record library of the Liszt Academy. He is the musical producer on many recordings. He has published a book and many articles on Russian music, and has completed an orchestration of Khovanshchina together with a reconstruction of the missing parts of the score.
To Ditta – The Night’s Musics
During the 23 years of their marriage, Bartók dedicated several compositions to his second wife, the pianist Ditta Pásztory. Among these works, there were remarkable, large scale masterpieces like the Sonata for piano, or the 3rd Piano Concerto and also some lesser works like the Lánycsúfoló (Mocking of Girls). However, none of them is in such an intimate relationship with the dedicatee (Ditta Pásztory), as Az éjszaka zenéje (The Night’s Music), the fourth number of the Szabadban (Out of Doors) series, composed in 1926. The aim of the present study was to find explanation for this particular connection. Due to the fact that The Night’s Music of 1926 was regarded as the first realisation of a specific Bartókian genre generally referred to as „night music” by Bartók scholars, we included in our investigation all those movements which might be regarded as representative of this genre. However, to have a better understanding of the connections between the different realisations of the „night music” genre, we focused our attention not only on the works described as „night music” but also on those earlier compositions by Bartók, in which some characteristic traits of the later „night music” are already detectable.
Examining these compositions we discovered some characteristics which
might be described as feminine, as for instance their relationship with
the dirges, a genre and even an action closely related to women, or some
more elusive traits, like their introspective mood, or their more
colourful texture in comparison with
Virág Büky graduated in musicology from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 2002 with the thesis A vokális moresca. Egy népszerű műfaj a 16. század végi Itáliában. [The moresca vocale: A popular genre in late 16th century Italy]. In 2001–2004 she was a postgraduate at the Budapest Academy. At present she is a research assistant, working on her PhD dissertation on Bartók and the exoticism of the turn of the 20th century. Since 2000 she has been working at the Bartók Archives of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The Reception of András Mihály’s Third Symphony (1962):
Discourse on New Music and Cultural Politics
Based on archival and press sources, this case study examines the
discourse on new music in Hungary in the early 1960s, with special
regard to its cultural, political and dominant ideological environment.
Focussing on the reception of the 1962 première of the Third Symphony by
András Mihály (1917–1993), I wish to present how musical modernism was
perceived under the circumstances of the changing cultural politics of
the post- Stalinist period of Hungarian state socialism. Although the
leading ideologues of the musical field had already distanced themselves
from Zhdanovism, they still regarded socialist realism as the most
preferable existing movement and/or as the teleological destination of
Hungarian music. Mihály’s Third Symphony cannot be counted as a
representative of the most experimental style in 1960s’ Hungary, not to
mention the global scene. The majority of the reviews of the work still
focussed on the question of the modern ‘language’ of the Symphony. The
six reviews, however, also document the pluralist nature of musical
criticism at that time in the Hungarian capital, with its population of
one and a half million.
Lóránt Péteri, musicologist and music critic, is Reader and Member of the Doctoral Council at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. He graduated from the same institution in 2002 and also from Eötvös Loránd University, where he studied history, in 2006. As a postgraduate research student, he received supervision from the University of Oxford in 2004/05 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, UK, in 2008 with a dissertation entitled ’The Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony: A Study of Genre’. Among his contributions are the studies „God and Revolution – Rewriting the Absolute: Bence Szabolcsi and the Discourse of Hungarian Musical Life”. In: Blazekovic Z. and Dobbs Mackenzie B. (eds.): Music’s Intellectual History. New York: RILM, 2009); and „Form, Meaning and Genre in the Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony”. Studia Musicologica 50 / 3- 4, 2009.
An Anti- Classical Classic
Alla danza tedesca
The Alla danza tedesca movement of the String Quartet Op. 130
in B flat major is at first sight one of the shortest and simplest
closed (rounded) forms in the late Beethoven quartets. In more general
surveys generally it is (only) the coda that receives a mention: the
place where the bars of the theme – with serial symmetry – are played in
reverse order. With a thorough- going analysis of the Alla danza
tedesca I have attempted to unpick how this little game derives from
the compositional logic that determines the whole movement. This
analysis demonstrates in perhaps its most clear example how far the
composer of the late Beethoven quartets departed from „classical” formal
thinking, and the connection of this to phenonema like the rejection of
traditional tonal and harmonic patterns, and the emancipation of music’s
dynamic stratum. As a practising quartet player I thought it important
to draw the conclusions from the results of my analysis which apply to
performance; I did this by comparing recordings by eleven important
string quartet ensembles.
Péter Tornyai (b.1987) graduated in composition and violin playing from the Liszt Academy in 2012. Since 2013 he has studied at the Doctoral School. He spent half a year in Rome on a scholarship. He has been awarded prizes in several composers’ competions in Hungary and internationally. As a chamber music player he is an active participant in Hungarian musical life, along with the premieres of his compositions.
IMOLA V. SZŰCS
„Singing Preserves Time”