Magyar Zene Music Quarterly
Vol. 52 , No. 3 - August 2014
Opening Address: The First Golden Age of the Music Collection
Between 1958 and 1962 the author spent the first four- and- half years of his career in the Music Collection of the National Széchényi Library, at that time housed in the Festetics Palace in Pest. From a musicologist’s point of view this was the golden age of the soon internationally recognized music department. Under the wise direction of composer and scholar Jenő Vécsey a small team worked on the nationalized music collections, including the huge and partly undisclosed Esterházy music collection. From the book Haydn als Opernkapellmeister (1960) to specialized studies, facsimile editions, and urtext editions (see the footnotes), even in the following decades a wide variety of publications of the author arose from this connection.
“A Counterpart to The Creation”
The Libretto of Joseph Haydn’s The Last Judgement
In his last active years Joseph Haydn contemplated writing yet another grand oratorio, one treating the topic of the Last Judgment. This article seeks to summarize all the information available on this (eventually aborted) project, and completes the picture with an all- important new source: a manuscript from Haydn’s own collection, which contains a libretto entitled Das jüngste Gericht by Joseph Ignaz Scheiger, a nephew of the composer’s wife. I propose that, while Haydn probably never set to music any part of this libretto, the text arguably reflects some of his concerns about the topic. Accordingly, I provide a detailed analysis of the libretto, and conclude that Scheiger’s intriguing remark on the title page – “A Counterpart to The Creation” – is somewhat misleading, insofar as the text comes closer to that of The Seasons in several respects. The original English version of this article, which also includes a full transcription of Scheiger’s German libretto, is about to appear in Haydn- Studien (Band XI, Heft 1, pp. 75–123).
Balázs Mikusi holds a PhD from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) and has been head of the Music Department at the National Széchényi Library, Budapest, since 2009. Previously he studied musicology at the Liszt Academy (now University) of Music, and held Fulbright and DAAD fellowships, among others. He is on the board of directors of the Hungarian Musicological Society, and is an elected member of the Scientific Committee of the National Széchényi Library. On an international level, he serves as vice- chair of the Bibliography Commission of the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), as co- chair of the RILM National Committee of Hungary, and as chair of the Hungarian RISM Working Group. Dr. Mikusi’s scholarly interests are wide- ranging, but the Classical period plays a special role. Besides numerous contributions in Hungarian, he has published several English- language articles about the music of Joseph Haydn (Eighteenth Century Music, Journal of Musicological Research, Ad Parnassum, Studia Musicologica, Haydn Studien, Eisenstädter Haydn- Berichte, Haydn: The Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America) and Mozart (The Musical Times, Mozart- Jahrbuch). He has recently edited a volume of selected music criticism by András Pernye (Budapest hangversenytermeiben 1959–1975, 2012), and his monograph entitled The Secular Partsong in Germany 1780–1815 is forthcoming in the Eastman Studies in Music series of the University of Rochester Press. His most recent discovery, the identification of an autograph fragment of Mozart’s Sonata in A major, K. 331, has been in the headlines all over the world.
KATALIN SZACSVAI KIM
Some Puzzling Autograph Pages from the Compositional Sources of Erzsébet
Ferenc Erkel used assistants when he composed. His contemporaries
knew of this, and beginning with Bánk bán his critics either took
exception to it, or found excuses for the composer. Although Erkel’s
autograph manuscripts written in several hands and by several authors
were all available from 1913 in the holdings
Katalin Kim- Szacsvai (PhD) is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Musicology of the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her research focuses on the vocalinstrumental (figural) music repertoire in eighteenth- century Hungary, studying the surviving music archives, the contemporary musical texts and the music and instrument inventories. Her other research focuses on the study of Ferenc Erkel’s compositional method, and the activity of Erkel’s workshop. She has already published a critical edition of two of Erkel’s operas: Bátori Mária (2002, together with Miklós Dolinszky), and Hunyadi László (2006)
Dirty Scores, Dusty Parts
or The Living Devil and the Not- So- Immaculate Conception of Hungarian Operetta
According to the composer and man of the theatre György Verő, the birth date of Hungarian operetta was 6th December 1885, that is, the day when the first performance of Az eleven ördög (The Living Devil) by the Polish- born composer József (Josef) Konti (Cohn) (1852–1905) took place in the Budapest Folk Theatre. Based on the evidence of the contemporary press as well as on the study of the rich corpus of original sources (performing scores, parts, promptbooks, staging manuals, theatre playbills) kept in the Music and Theatre Department of the Széchényi National Library and in the Hungarian Radio, I show, that (1) the date given by Verő is the result of a slip of the pen; (2) Konti’s work had already been performed in at least six theatres and more than a hundred times before its Folk Theatre premiere; (3) last but not least, Az eleven ördög is not an original operetta written in Hungarian but a translation of a German piece, Der kleine Vicomte by Konti, first performed in the Sopron (Ödenburg) German Theatre in March 1884 and based on a French vaudeville by Jean- François Bayard and Dumanoir (Philippe- François Pinel), Le Vicomte de Létorières (first perf. in Paris, Théâtre du Palais- Royal, 1841). I also attempt to explain why Verő may have chosen the Folk Theatre premiere of Az eleven ördög as the birth date of Hungarian operetta, despite the above- mentioned facts.
Péter Bozó (b. 1980) is a musicologist and research fellow at the Institute for Musicology of the Research Centre for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He obtained his PhD with a thesis devoted to Liszt’s song oeuvre, based on Weimar source studies and accepted by the Budapest Liszt Academy of Music. As an OTKA and TÁMOP postdoctoral researcher he conducted researches into the Paris origins and the Hungarian practice of operetta. He has given papers at international conferences in Stuttgart (2006), London (2010), Vienna (2012, 2013), Vilnius (2013) and Liverpool (2013). He is the editor and co- author of the volume entitled Space, Time, Tradition published by Rózsavölgyi and Co. (2013).
The Mysteries of Hubay’s Legacy
Investigations in the National Széchényi Library and Beyond
The mansion by the Danube at Budapest that belonged to the Hungarian violinist, teacher and composer Jenő Hubay (1858–1937) was for decades a leading cultural venue. It was famous not only for its musical events, but for its art collection as well, since the musician and his wife the countess Róza Cebrian spent the greater part of their income on works of art. At the same time Hubay – like his role model Franz Liszt – developed wide- ranging personal contacts; among his friends were hundreds of celebrities from the world of art, science, economics and politics, with the result that he acquired thousands of letters, photographs and other documents. To these were added the documents of his career as a composer and performer. At the end of the second world war the Hubay mansion was hit by a bomb, after which what remained of his collection began an adventurous life. The present article attempts to reconstruct the origins of Hubay’s legacy and how it once was. In addition it provides information on its subsequent fate – a story worthy of a detective novel.
László Gombos was born in Szombathely (West- Hungary) in 1967. He studied piano, organ and music theory in Szombathely, and from 1985 in Budapest at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music at the Chorus Master and Music Theory Department. He graduated in 1990, and in 1990-1995 studied musicology at the same institute. During the next three years he took part in the Musicological PhD Programme. Since 1990 he has taught music history: in 1998–2002 at the University of Debrecen, and since 1995 at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest. Besides this he is a researcher at the Institute for Musicology in Budapest. From 1994- 2001 he worked in the 20th century department, from 2002- 2010 in the Ernő Dohnányi Archives and since 2007 he has worked in the Museum of Music History in the same institute. His main research field is Hungarian music at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. He has organized over thirty musical exhibitions in Budapest, Szeged, Ferrara, Brussels, Lausanne, Geneva, Moscow, Rome and elsewhere. He is vice- president of the Jenő Hubay Society and president of the Hubay Foundation.
“To Forget Him Would Be Not Just Neglect, but a Crime”
Jenő Vécsey, an Indefatigable Labourer on Behalf of Hungarian Musicology
On 1st May 1924 the Music Section of the National Széchényi Library became an independent department within the library. It was headed by Kálmán Isoz, whose aim was that the music collection should not only preserve things from Hungary’s musical past, but should also serve the needs of current Hungarian musicological research. This principle was also followed by Jenő Vécsey, who was in charge of the collection from the spring of 1945 until his death in 1966. The present study deals with the first period of Vécsey’s work from 1945 to 1953, when after the war the collection was re- built and the library consolidated.
Vécsey began his re- organization with the setting up of a modern
index card catalogue, with an eye to making the collection available at
the earliest opportunity for use by scholars. He also produced a modern
system of cataloguing for musical subjects in the interests of making
the retrieved material of the library a
Beginning in 1949 the holdings of the library, in particular the manuscripts, grew very considerably as a result of the state taking over the secondhand bookshops, and the removal from private ownership of the libraries belonging to religious orders and the nobility, along with other abandoned property. At that time the Music Collection grew nationally to such dimensions, that it acquired outstanding importance not only for Hungarian scholars, but for scholarship in the history of music in general. The arrival of the Esterházy music library in the autumn 1949 (including autographs by Joseph and Michael Haydn) was followed by the music collection from the Esterházys at Tata. Later the holding were increased by a lot of material to do with theatre music, and scores from the Rózsavölgyi Music Publishers.
By the end of 1952 the situation of the Music Collection had thankfully become fairly stable, having been given its own premises and staff. Jenő Vécsey then turned his attention to his other ambition: the practical realization of reviving and popularizing forgotten music. His work included results in the field of basic research into Haydn and Hungary, high quality bibliographies and published scores – in particular the series of volumes he initiated entitled Musica Rinata. All this guarantees him an important place in the history of Hungary’s acquisition of musicological knowledge and the setting up of libraries.
Éva Kelemen finished her studies in musicology at the Budapest Liszt Academy of Music in 1981. Since 1985 she has worked in the National Széchényi Library, and since 1995 has been editor of the National Bibliography of Hungary: Bibliography of Music Scores and Records. Her scholarly interest is 20th century Hungarian music and its cultural history. She has published articles and studies on Ernő Dohnányi and Géza Csáth. Her book: Dohnányi Ernő családi levelei (The family correspondence of Ernő Dohnányi) was published in 2011.