Magyar Zene Music Quarterly
Vol. 55 , No. 2 - May 2017
The whole issue (pdf)
Alien Elements in the Bakócz Gradual
The Graduale Strigoniense or Bakócz Gradual was edited by Janka Szendrei more than twenty years ago. Her detailed analysis of the material revealed that ’the Gradual follows the rite of Esztergom in every respect, and within this it can be put into the group of the most significant, most characteristic sources’ (quote from the English introduction). In her opinion, ’this codex had meant to put in writing in the outgoing 15th and the early 16th centuries the liturgical and musical usage of the church of Esztergom’ and ’it must have served its function in the choir of the cathedral of Esztergom dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Adalbert’. The latest investigation of the contents of the codex, however, challenges this statement. There are elements in the repertory (especially among the sequences), in the chant material (melodic or tonal variants, special transpositions) and in the arrangement of the contents (carrying over to the Sanctorale the feasts of saints falling into the octave of Christmas) that agree only with the tradition of Zagreb and are contrasting with that of Esztergom.
Andrea Kovács graduated in the pedagogy of music theory and choir conducting (1993) and in church music (1998) at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She earned her doctoral degree (DLA) at the same university in 2002. Between 2003 and 2006 she worked as a research fellow at the Church Music Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Liszt Academy of Music, then from 2007 at the Early Music Department of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2009 she has been a research fellow, since 2015 a senior research fellow and head of the Church Music Research Group of the University. Her publications comprise several volumes and articles on medieval plainchant. Her main research fields include musical sources of the medieval Divine Office and Mass, the scholarly analysis and reconstruction of the Gregorian Office traditions of Hungary, comprehensive critical editions of Gregorian genres and transcribed editions of sources.
’Originelle Ungarische Nationaltänze’ From The Early Nineteenth Century
While the new style of Hungarian dances emerging at the turn of the nineteenth century, often called verbunkos, was felt by contemporaries as an ancient, unique, authentic national music, most researchers emphasize its close relationship with Viennese music. According to Géza Papp, however, some differences can be observed between two parts of the repertoire, namely collections published under the name of a composer, and anonymous collections often referring in the title to the oral tradition. The former are closer to the Western music of the era, the latter have preserved distinctive Hungarian style elements more extensively. Based on a largescale anonymous collection titled Originelle ungarische Nationaltänze, this study focuses on the question of what style elements may refer to the authenticity mentioned in the title and to the possible relationship with the oral tradition. These dance tunes preserve some old formal elements like motif repetition, descending fifth- or fourth transposition, and form structures consisting of short lines or similar to the Sapphic stanza. The different variants of tune types appearing in the anonymous collections reflect the variability of living tradition and the effect of a new taste on the old form types, showing a preference for question- answer type periods and sentences. All this suggests that this collection, and in general the Hungarian dances of that era, might have been closer to the tradition known from twentieth century Hungarian folk music.
Kata Riskó (1985) studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and after graduating in 2008 she started her PhD studies in musicology at the same institution on the topic of instrumental folk music of the northern dialect of the Hungarian language area. Since 2012 she has been an assistant researcher at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her main research interests include the historical study of Hungarian folk music and common music, and the relationship between folk music and art music.
FERENC JÁNOS SZABÓ
Hungarian Operatic Heroines from Egypt To Norway
The Hungarian Royal Opera’s Libretto Competition 1913–1914
In August 1913 Count Miklós Bánffy, the government commissioner at
the Hungarian Royal Opera, announced a competition for the writing of a
Hungarian libretto for a full length opera. A result of the successful
competition was the composition of two Hungarian operas, Farsangi
lakodalom (Carnival Wedding) by Ede Poldini and Fanni
(Fanny) by Béla Szabados. Most of the submitted librettos have
been lost over the last hundred years, but some survive in the archive
of the Hungarian State Opera and during the past year it has been
possible to identify more librettos related to the topic. These in many
respects reflect the situation of Hungarian operas in the decade after
1910. It is possible to identify in them not just the influence of the
operas and operatic trends at the turn of the century and earlier, but
also the influence of particular roles and even singers. Even in its
fragmentary form the surviving corpus of documents shows how the writers
living at the time were thinking regarding the renewal of Hungarian
opera. In my article
Ferenc János Szabó (b.1985 in Pécs) is a musicologist and pianist. In 2008 he graduated with honours in the piano faculty of the Budapest Liszt Academy. In the same year he started doctoral studies for a DLA degree in piano playing and a PhD in musicology, and began a master course in chamber music at Kunstuniversität Graz. In 2012 he successfully defended his DLA thesis. He is a founding member of the THReNSeMBle contemporary music chamber ensemble and the Trio Duecento Corde piano trio, and as a member of the latter has won prizes in several international competitions. In 2009 and 2010 he held a Fischer Annie scholarship. Since 2013 he has been teaching in the vocal faculty of the Liszt Academy. In the first half of 2011 he worked as a contributor at the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre. Since September of the same year he has been a young researcher in the department of Hungarian music history at the Institute for Musicology, where at present he is a research colleague and a member of the ’Lendület’ 20th and 21st century Hungarian musical archive. From 2013 to 2015 he held an MTA postdoctoral scholarship, in 2014 he won the Youth Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and in 2016 and 2017 held a Zoltán Kodály musical creativity scholarship. His research topic is the history of Hungarian recordings, Hungarian performances of opera and Hungarian musical performance.
’The Era Of Tragedies’
Importance of the Tragic, and the Means with which it is Expressed, in the Late Symphonies of László Lajtha
In the musical life of Hungary in the 1950s the late cycle of symphonies by László Lajtha form a patch of unusual colour. As we know, Lajtha remained outside the circles that defined the directives to do with artistic policy and aesthetics, even so – or precisely because of this – his works claim our attention as documents of great interest. In his late symphonies we find many examples of similar musical procedures, thus verifying their underlying cyclic thinking: apart from his characteristic sound colours we repeatedly encounter thematic material heard earlier. In this article I examine the three works written after 1956, which form the second part of the cycle composed between 1948 and 1961. On the basis of statements by Lajtha the determining feature of the set of symphonies is tragedy. According to a later comment by the composer the 7th symphony (1957) portrays ’the tragic fate of the Hungarians’; in its closing section he quotes the Hungarian national anthem. The work’s subtitle ’Autumn’ was omitted in the published score. Lajtha called his 8th symphony (1959) ’a great tragic fresco’. Again in the final movement there appears a famous melody from Hungarian history, the Rákóczi song. Two years later in 1961 the composer rounded off his series of tragic symphonies with the 9th, which quotes plainchant melodies. One of the questions whose answer I search for in this article is the extent to which the loss of hope after 1956 may have contributed to the experience of tragedy that Lajtha could only express within the framework of a monumental symphonic cycle.
Viktória Ozsvárt is an assistant research fellow at the Archives for 20th–21st Century Hungarian Music at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute for Musicology. In 2015 she was awarded an honours degree in musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music. In the same year she won first prize in the National Musicological Students’ Associations Conference with her essay entitled ’Classicism and Modernity in Mendelssohn’s and Liszt’s Cantatas An die Künstler’. In 2017 she won a New National Excellence Scholarship with a programme entitled ’László Lajtha and the general directions of Hungarian musical life (1948–1958)’. Currently she is a PhD student at the Liszt Academy of Music. The topic of her dissertation is the search for sources of inspiration in the Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist László Lajtha’s late creative period (1945–1963).
ÁDÁM IGNÁCZ –ANDRÁS RÁNKI
Marxist Interpretations of ’Modern Music’
The Conceptions of János Maróthy and József Ujfalussy
This paper addresses the conception of realism and modernity by internationally renowned Hungarian musicologists and musical ideologists János Maróthy and József Ujfalussy in the light of cultural policy, history of ideology and musical aesthetics. According to Maróthy, social realism and its musical culture integrates the achievements of bourgeois music and popular music. He found the headwaters of this kind of music in the so called ’golden 20’s’, i.e. the first decade of the new Soviet culture (1917–1932), in which avant- garde still belonged to the state- supported artistic trends. Ujfalussy elaborated the category of intonation on the basis of musical theory, physiology and psychology introducing the specific musical interpretation of mirroring theory. His aesthetical hypotheses and presuppositions determined a relationship to modernity characterised by moderate conservatism focusing on socially relevant content and perceivable order of sensual elements besides the component of musical novelty.
Ádám Ignácz (1981), music historian. He was enrolled in the Philosophy Doctoral School of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, where he received his PhD in 2013. He has published articles in local and international journals and books on 20th century Russian music, socialist realism and popular music in socialist Hungary. Since 2013 Ignácz has been working as a research fellow for the Archives for 20th- 21st Century Hungarian Music, Institute of Musicology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2017 he has been working as editor- in- chief at the music publishing house Rózsavölgyi & Co.
András Ránki (1982) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, and aesthetics and philosophy at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He attended the Doctoral Programme in Aesthetics at the ELU. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation. Since 2012 he has been a lecturer at the ELU’s Faculty of Education and Psychology and since 2013 at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church. since 2014 he has been on the staff of the Archives and Research Group for 20th- 21st Century Hungarian Music, Institute for Musicology of the Research Centre for Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (junior research fellow since 2015). His research focuses on Hungarian musical aesthetics in the 20th century, especially on the Marxist tradition.