Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 53 , No. 4 - November 2015

 

 

Contents

 

Conference in Memory of Ferenc Farkas at the National Széchenyi Library

 

ZOLTÁN JENEY  
Emlékek Farkas Ferencről 357
Memories of Ferenc Farkas (Abstract) 363
LÁSZLÓ GOMBOS  
Farkas Ferenc, a zene polihisztora 364
Ferenc Farkas, Music's Polymath (Abstract) 372
BALÁZS MIKUSI  
Farkas Ferenc, a menedzser 373
Ferenc Farkas the Manager (Abstract) 387
ÉVA KELEMEN  
"Amikor Székesfehérváron trubadúrdalokat fordítottál..."
Farkas Ferenc és Weöres Sándor találkozásai
388
"When You Translated Troubadour Songs in Székesfehérvár..."
Ferenc Farkas' s Encounters with Sándor Weöres (Abstract)
402
PÉTER BOZÓ  
Csontos karabély – újratöltve
A Csinom Palkó a Farkas-hagyaték forrásainak fényében
403
The Bony Carbine Reloaded
Csinom Palkó by Ferenc Farkas in the Light of the Sources of his Estate (Abstract)
424
TIBOR TALLIÁN  
Egy úr Budapestről
Farkas Ferenc és a novecento
425
A Gentleman from Budapest
Ferenc Farkas and the Novecento (Abstract)
441

Articles

 

ELAINE SISMAN  
Haydn, Shakespeare és az eredetiség szabályai, 2. rész 442
Haydn, Shakespeare and the Rules of Originality, Part 2 (Abstract) 474
A 2015. évi, LIII. évfolyam tartalomjegyzéke 475
Contents (Abstracts) of Volume LIII, 2015 346

 

 

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

 

ZOLTÁN JENEY

Memories of Ferenc Farkas

 

From 1961 to 1966 the author was a composition pupil of Ferenc Farkas at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, and herewith presents a brief summary of his experiences with his professor. The essay does not merely provide a subjective account of Farkas’s personality and teaching method, but also sheds light on the different traditions of composition teaching at the Liszt Academy in the second half of the 20th century.

 

Zoltán Jeney (1943), composer. Composition studies with Zoltán Pongrácz, Ferenc Farkas and Goffredo Petrassi. Co- founder of the New Music Studio Budapest (1970, in collaboration with Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kocsis, László Sáry, Albert Simon and László Vidovszky). The New Music Studio premiered more than 600 contemporary pieces between 1972 and 1990. Computer music studies in IRCAM, Paris in 1982. Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York City in 1985. In 1986 begins teaching at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. In 1988–89 DAAD scholarship in (West- ) Berlin. In 1992 sound- project (with László Vidovszky) for the Hungarian Pavilion at the World Expo in Sevilla. 1993–1999 member of the Executive Committee of the ISCM (1966–99 vice- president). Since 1993 member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. Visiting Professor at the School of Music, NorthWestern University Chicago in 1999. President of the Hungarian Composers’ Union between 1993–96. Between 1995–2012 Head of Department of Composition at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music Budapest; between 1998–2013 President of the Academy’s Doctoral School. Among his works are orchestral compositions, chamber works, songs, choral works, electronic and computer music, co- operations with other composers and incidental music (theatre, film). In 2005 he finished his monumental oratorio, Funeral Rite, which he had been permanently working on since 1987. Among his numerous awards in 2001 he was given the highest Hungarian artistic award, the Kossuth prize.

 

Back to top »

 

 

 

LÁSZLÓ GOMBOS 

Ferenc Farkas, Music's Polymath

 

The career and music of Ferenc Farkas (1905–2000) was characterized by a unique diversity. This showed not just in the more than a hundred genres in which he wrote music, or in their nearly two hundred different kinds of ensemble, but in their various styles and sources of inspiration, as well as in the activities he took part in over the course of a uniquely long life. He was primarily a composer, but also a teacher, repetiteur, choir conductor, orchestral conductor, pianist in the orchestra pit, school director and operatic chorus master. He was also active in public life and as a writer on music. We find the features of a late polymath in the versatility of his interests and his exceptional cultural knowledge. As a true “bon viveur” he was considered to be an expert on languages, poetry, literature and cuisine, and in addition when he was young he was successful at painting. Part of his skill in communication lay in the fact that he spoke more or less fluently 10 to 12 languages. His commitment to literature is shown by the fact that 97 Hungarian writers and the same number of foreign ones inspired his vocal works, which in total use texts in 16 different languages.

 

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 Ernô 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 Jenô Hubay Society and president of the Hubay Foundation.

 

Back to top »

 

 

 

BALÁZS MIKUSI

Ferenc Farkas the Manager

 

The estate of composer Ferenc Farkas (1905–2000) has recently been donated to the Music Collection of the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. The estate includes a vast collection of letters which invites detailed reconsideration of the strategies that Farkas followed in ensuring material security as well as promoting his works throughout his long career. I argue that his needy early decades and his encounter with role models abroad (ranging from his teacher Ottorino Respighi to self- assured Danish craftsmen) contributed to Farkas’s determination to make a comfortable living as a composer while trying not to compromise his artistic principles. While in his early years the composer evidently felt embarrassed to ask
for favors, later on he cleverly exploited the assistance of his wide- ranging circle of friends and professional acquaintances to have his works performed and published both inside Hungary and abroad. (In some of his letters Farkas clarified that acting as a „salesman” was by no means to his liking, but he felt prompted himself to put in the intensive work that more fortunate composers may have left to their publishers and agents.) The correspondence also suggests that Farkas consistently sought to pressurize publishers for higher royalties, and allows us a glimpse into his negotiations with the National Bank of Hungary so that he could keep some part of the foreign currency his compositions brought in from Western countries. Thus reconstructing the consistent „manager attitude” of Farkas allows us to resolve a seeming contradiction: while the composer considered himself as belonging to a „damned generation” the career of which was damaged by World War II and the ensuing segregation behind the Iron Curtain, in comparison to most of his Hungarian contemporaries he proved outstandingly successful.

 

Balázs Mikusi holds a PhD from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), 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. His scholarly interests are wide- ranging: besides several publications related to 18thcentury music (primarily Haydn and Mozart), he has dedicated a number of articles to 19th- century musicians (among others Mendelssohn, Robert and Clara Schumann, Carl Goldmark) as well as 20thcentury composers (Bartók and Shostakovich). In recent years his research was recognized with the Széchényi Memorial Medal of the National Széchényi Library (2014) and the Bolyai Plaquette of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2015).

 

Back to top »

 

 

 

ÉVA KELEMEN

"When You Translated Troubadour Songs in Székesfehérvár..."
Ferenc Farkas' s Encounters with Sándor Weöres 

 

In the musical output of Ferenc Farkas an important role was played by vocal music, of which there are about four hundred works. He drew from one or more poems by each of around a hundred Hungarian poets in his songs and choral works. These stretch from Balassi to Jenô Dsida, and from the Latin poems of Janus Pannonius through Petôfi, Babits and Lôrinc Szabó right up to Sándor Weöres, with whom he had an artistic friendship that lasted more or less half a century. Their first creative encounter was initiated by the composer at the beginning of the 1940s when he took three stanzas from the seven sections of the poet’s Maláj ábránd (Malaysian Dream) and made them into a song with piano accompaniment. Their personal aquaintance was deepened when they were together every day in Székesfehérvár in the second half of the 1940s, becoming a friendship that lasted for decades and only to be broken by the poet’s death. Their artistic creative contact however carried on: the series of Farkas’s Weöres compositions closes with his choral works and songs from the middle of the 1990s.
This study summarizes the most important events of the years 1946–48 spent by the two artists in Székesfehérvár, and presents a few moments from their personal life together based on documents in the Farkas estate in the National Széchényi Library. The genesis and reception of the composer’s song cycle Gyümölcskosár (Fruit Basket) are described, using so far partly unknown sources from the estate.

 

Éva Kelemen finished her studies in musicology at the Budapest Liszt Academy of Music in 1981. She joined the National Széchényi Library in 1985, and has been the editor of the Hungarian National Bibliography: Bibliography of Music Scores and Records since 1995. She specialises in twentiethcentury Hungarian music and its cultural history, and has published articles and studies on these subjects. She has recently published two books: Dohnányi Ernô családi levelei (The Family Correspondence of Ernô Dohnányi), 2011; and Mûvészetek vándora. A zeneszerzô Csáth Géza (A Wanderer in Art. The Composer Géza Csáth), 2015.

 

Back to top »

 

 

 

PÉTER BOZÓ

The Bony Carbine Reloaded
Csinom Palkó by Ferenc Farkas in the Light of the Sources of his Estate

 

Dating back to the communist period of state socialism, Csinom Palkó, an operetta in three acts using Hungarian historical songs and 17th- century dance melodies, is by far the most popular work composed by Ferenc Farkas. This is quite interesting, considering the fact that Farkas was a respectable composer and head of the Composition Faculty at the Budapest Liszt Academy of Music, a post he held between 1949 and 1975. During its long composition and performance history, Csinom Palkó went through different stages. At first, it was a radio operetta (1950), then it was reworked into a stage work (1951), commissioned by the Ministry of People’s Education, premiered by the Hungarian State Opera company in the Budapest Municipal Theatre and awarded the Kossuth Prize. Later, the piece was revised significantly and staged at the Szeged Open- Air Festival both in 1970 and 1971. There is also a film version of it, made in 1973. In my study, I give a survey of the rich source material of the piece, which has recently arrived at the Music Department of the Budapest National Széchényi Library. On the basis of these sources, I point out among other things that the chronological order of the musical and textual sources is quite complicated because some parts of earlier manuscripts were transferred into the later ones. The cast of the operetta went through significant changes: among others, Vak Bottyán’s figure was taken out and his role partly given to another figure called Béri Balogh Ádám, who represented something like a party secretary, according to Farkas’s later recollections. Last but not least, Farkas took part in the creation of the piece not only as a composer but also as one of the authors of the libretto.

 

Péter Bozó is a music historian and research assistant in the Department of Hungarian Musical History at the MTA BTK Institute of Musicology. He obtained his PhD at the Budapest Music Academy in 2010 with a thesis devoted to Liszt’s songs based on a study of the sources at Weimar. As an OTKA and TÁMOP post- doctoral scholarship holder he has continued research work into operetta, its beginnings in Paris and its cultivation in Hungary. At the moment he holds a Bolyai scholarship. He co- authored and co- edited the volume Space, Time and Tradition published in 2013 by Rózsavölgyi

Back to top »

 

 

 

TIBOR TALLIÁN

A Gentleman from Budapest
Ferenc Farkas and the Novecento

 

Ferenc Farkas, born in 1905, studied composition at the Budapest Music Academy from 1922 to 1927. Although he was not a pupil of Zoltán Kodály, Farkas, like most Hungarian composers of his generation, was strongly influenced by the national folkloristic avant- garde ideas of Bartók and Kodály, who had by then reached the zenith of their careers. Therefore the two- year scholarship to Ottorino Respighi’s master class at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia offered Farkas a welcome opportunity to broaden his stylistic horizons. In Rome Farkas got to know the specific Italian variant of post-World War I neoclassicism which taught him „how to avoid writing unnecessarily complicated music, and how to express himself fluently, simply and clearly.” In his memoirs Farkas referred to the neoclassicist music of Alfredo Casella and Virgilio Mortari (but not that of his teacher Respighi) as „the so- called Novecento,” a term denoting stylistic developments in Italian art and literature of the Mussolini era but as a rule not used for music. The source of Farkas’s terminology may have been his close association with Hungarian painters and sculptors then staying at the Accademia d’Ungheria in Rome, who followed the new Italian artistic trends and are known in Hungarian art history as the Roman School. Following his return to Budapest Farkas strove to „re-Hungarianize” his style without ever sacrificing Italianate formal clarity and transparency. Guest Performance in Bolzano, an opera composed in 1980 to words by Sándor Márai and premiered in 1991, can be considered as a monument to Farkas’s lifelong intimate relationship with Italy and Italian art.

 

Tibor Tallián (b. 1946), studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and at the University of Vienna. Since 1972 he has been a researcher at the Institute of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Between 1998 and 2011 he was the director of this institute. He is Professor of Musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music and – since 2011 – Editor in Chief of Studia Musicologica. His main research areas are the life and work of Béla Bartók and the history of 19th- and 20th- century Hungarian music with a special emphasis on opera as a genre and a cultural institution. He initiated in 1998 the complete critical edition of Ferenc Erkel’s operas.

 

Back to top »

 

 

 

 

ELAINE SISMAN

Haydn, Shakespeare and the Rules of Originality, Part 2

 

This essay explores the discourse around Haydn’s famous statement that in his isolation at Eszterháza he “had to become original.” Considering the relationship of originality to rules and to genius in 18th- century thought leads to the reception history of the arch- original Shakespeare in Germany and Austria. Haydn’s critics not infrequently compared him to Shakespeare, especially in stylistic mixtures of comic and serious elements, and in his role as composer for visiting theatrical troupes Haydn’s name was linked with productions of Shakespeare, even Hamlet. Finally, the theatrical rhetoric and heterogeneous topical play associated with originality are explored in several string quartets and symphonies that help to recover the “Shakespearean” Haydn.

 

Elaine Sisman is the Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music at Columbia University. The author of Haydn and the Classical Variation, the Cambridge Handbook Mozart: The “Jupiter” Symphony, and editor of Haydn and His World, she has published numerous essays on music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that interweave history, biography, aesthetics, and analysis. She is currently working on studies of Don Giovanni, mechanical music and expressive topoi, and the music of illumination. She received the PhD in music history from Princeton University and has taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Sisman was awarded the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society in 1983 for best article by a younger scholar, serves on the boards of the Joseph Haydn- Institut and the Akademie für Mozartforschung as well as The Musical Quarterly and The Journal of Musicology, and completed a term as president of the American Musicological Society, which elected her to Honorary Membership in 2011. In 2014 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

Back to top »