Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 56 , No. 3 - August 2018

 

 

Contents

 

Articles

 
LÁSZLÓ VIKÁRIUS  
A Herzliebster Jesu korál Bach passióiban 247
The Herzliebster Jesu Chorale in Bach’s Passions (Abstract) 264
LILI BÉKÉSSY  
Katonazenekarok Pest- Budán az 1850- es években 265
Military Orchestras in Pest- Buda during the 1850s (Abstract) 280
PÉTER LAKI  
A hegedűversenyek évtizede
Az új zene és az előadó az 1930- as években
281
The Decade of the Violin Concerto
New Music and the Performer in the 1930s (Abstract)
290
SARAH LUCAS  
Bartók vonós műveinek előadása és fogadtatása a szerző első amerikai koncertkörútja (1927–1928) során 291
Performance and Reception of Bartók’s String Music During His First Concert Tour of the United States (1927–1928) (Abstract) 302
VIKTÓRIA OZSVÁRT  
Népzenei inspiráció és klasszikus hagyomány Lajtha László kései vonósnégyeseiben 303
Folkloric Inspiration and Classical Tradition in the Late String Quartets of László Lajtha (Abstract) 322
GERGELY LOCH  
A MÁV- szignál zenetörténete 324
The Jingle of the Hungarian State Railways. A Musicological Approach (Abstract) 342

Műhelytanulmány

 
ANNA LASKAI  
Bejegyzések Dohnányi zenei tárgyú könyveiben 343
Entries in Ernst von Dohnányi’s Music Books (Abstract) 365

 

 

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

LÁSZLÓ VIKÁRIUS

The Herzliebster Jesu Chorale in Bach’s Passions

 

In his St. Matthew Passion Bach included 13 four- part chorales and two further chorale stanzas in two complex forms, the opening chorus and the Tenor recitative no. 25 (according to the Bach Werke Verzeichnis and no. 19 in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe). Among them several stanzas are taken from so called Passion Chorales thematically linked to Holy Week. Pride of place is accorded to O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, text by Paul Gerhard and melody by Hans Leo Hassler, from which Bach chose all in all six stanzas to use in five different numbers (see fig. 1). Disregarding the order of stanzas in the chorale itself, Bach uses stanzas one and four in no. 63 (54). Two stanzas of the same chorale (five and six) in identical harmonization but in two different keys, E major and E flat major, flank recitative no. 22 (16) creating a surprisingly symmetrical structure (see fig. 2). The second most important chorale is Herzliebster Jesu, text by Johann Heermann and melody by Johann Crüger, from which three stanzas are used in three different numbers. After the first recitative that follows the opening chorus and sets the story, the first stanza of the chorale can be heard (no. 3). Stanza three is incorporated in the Tenor recitative („O Schmerz”) mentioned above. Stanza four (no. 55 and 46, resp.) is heard immediately after the first short „Lass ihn kreuzigen” chorus entry. Thus, again, an important chorale is included in a structure which is characterized by conspicuous symmetry (see fig. 3). The three surprisingly different settings of the same melody with particularly high intensity of text expression appear to be ideal for a parallel analysis looking for musical- rhetorical devices (see exx. 5–7). Note also that two more settings of the same chorale using in all three more stanzas appear in the St. John Passion, which are also very different both harmonically and expressively (see exx. 3–4). Following a short discussion of the aesthetic significance of the special Sapphic stanza form in the Herzliebster Jesu chorale Bach’s use of the harmonic minor scale in contrast to Crüger’s Aeolian is pointed out (see exx. 1–2) as well as his occasional and artful embellishment or slight modification of the melody. All these are as much in the service of text expression as is his resourceful and often stunning harmonic boldness, in the successive four- part settings culminating in „Wie wunderbarlich.” The complete texts of the two chorales, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, and Herzliebster Jesu, are reprinted in the Appendix followed by a Hungarian verse translation of selected stanzas.

 

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. He is editor- in- chief of the Béla Bartók Complete Critical Edition and edited with Vera Lampert the first published volume, For Children (early version and revised version). His further publications include Modell és inspiráció Bartók zenei gondolkodásában [Model and inspiration in Bartók’s musical thinking] (1999), a facsimile edition of Bartók’s autograph draft of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (2006), the Somfai Fs (with Vera Lampert; Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005), the CD-ROM Bartók and Arab Folk Music (with János Kárpáti and István Pávai; 2006), and exhibition catalogues, Bartók and Kodály: anno 1910 (with Anna Baranyi; 2010), Bartók the Folklorist (2014) and Bartók the Pianist (with Virág Büky; 2017).

 

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LILI BÉKÉSSY

Military Orchestras in Pest- Buda during the 1850s

 

The 141 military bands of the Habsburg Empire had a central intermediary role in the system of musical institutions. They were active members of the Hungarian musical and cultural life of towns and cities, as well as throughout the empire. The bands participated in opera performances and musical plays, gave public concerts and were in connection with educational institutions and other orchestras. Being an active part of the system, the contemporary public could attach different meanings to the military orchestras, particularly after 1848/49. First, they could have been seen as a supranational symbol embodying the personal statement of Franz Joseph I (Viribus unitis = With united forces). Nevertheless, this meaning may have been questionable regarding the empire’s increased political control that characterized the 1850s. This paper examines that very decade of Pest- Buda through the mirror of the musical institutions’ network, based on current press research.

 

Lili Békéssy (1992) obtained her MA degree in musicology with highest honours at the Musicology Department of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music (Budapest) in 2015. In September 2015 she started the PhD programme of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. In the same year she won 2nd prize at the National Scientific Students’ Associations Conference. From February 2014 till May 2016 she worked as a research assistant at the Franz Liszt Memorial Museum and Research Centre. As of May 2016, she has been working as a research fellow at the Department for Hungarian Music History of the Institute for Musicology. The subject matter of her thesis in preparation is the musical institutions and places of music in Pest- Buda between 1849 and 1867.

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PÉTER LAKI

The Decade of the Violin Concerto
New Music and the Performer in the 1930s

 

It has often been remarked that many prominent composers turned to the writing of violin concertos at about the same time in the 1930s. The violin as a solo instrument that had to ’sing’ by nature, required composers such as Bartók, Berg, Schoenberg, Szymanowski, Prokofiev and others to employ melodic elements that sought ties with more traditional stylistic approaches. They all tended to write symmetrical melodic phrases and adopted at least some features of sonata form. These concertos were, for the most part, written for young and ambitious players who wished to further their careers by commissioning new concertos. Many of the international violin superstars avoided new works, leaving the field of contemporary music to colleagues who were no less great as artists even if they did not have the same name recognition. As a result, the 1930s saw the birth of the ’new- music specialist’ among performers.

 

Péter Laki (b. 1954) graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy (now University) of Music in 1979 and received his Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He served as Program Annotator of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1990 to 2002 and taught courses at Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, John Carroll University and Oberlin College between 1990 and 2007. Since 2007, he has been on the faculty of Bard College in Annandale- on- Hudson, New York. Laki is the author of numerous musicological articles and the editor of Bartók and His World, a collection of essays and documents published by Princeton University Press in 1995.

 

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SARAH LUCAS

Performance and Reception of Bartók’s String Music During His First Concert Tour of the United States (1927–1928)

 

During Béla Bartók’s first concert tour of the United States (1927-1928) he played primarily his own music in lecture- recitals, orchestra performances, and chamber music concerts in fifteen American cities. Over the course of the tour he collaborated with violinists Jelly d’Arányi and Joseph Szigeti to present a few of his works for violin and piano to members of musical clubs in New York City and Philadelphia, and before dignitaries at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C.–namely his Sonata for Violin and Piano no. 2 (1922), Hungarian Folksongs for Violin and Piano (arranged by Joseph Szigeti, 1926), and Romanian Folk Dances for Violin and Piano (arranged by Zoltán Székely, 1925). In Boston and New York, Bartók played on recitals that also included performances of his String Quartets no. 1 and no. 2. This article documents these performances and the American reception of Bartók’s violin music during his U.S. recitals of early 1928. Music criticism in American newspapers and music journals, as well as detailed program notes from
the string quartet performances, are taken into account to reveal the critical assessment of Bartók’s violin music and string quartets and the characterization of the composer in the American press and concert halls.

 

Sarah Lucas completed her Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Iowa in the fall of 2018, with the support of a University of Iowa Graduate College Writing Fellowship. Her dissertation, ’Fritz Reiner and the Legacy of Béla Bartók’s Orchestral Music in the United States’, is based on archival research carried out at Northwestern University’s Fritz Reiner Collections, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Rosenthal Archives, Bartók Records, and at the Hungarian Institute for Musicology’s Budapest Bartók Archives, where she conducted research with the support of a Fulbright Award, a Stanley Grant for International Graduate Research, and a University of Iowa Graduate College Summer Fellowship. Her master’s work at the University of Missouri (2010- 2012) culminated in her thesis ’Béla Bartók and the Pro- Musica Society: A Chronicle of Piano Recitals in Eleven American Cities during his 1927-1928 Tour’. Her research interests also include twentieth- century American music criticism and the use of Bartók’s music in film. She currently teaches music history at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and leads the Des Moines Symphony’s Classical Conversations series.

 

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VIKTÓRIA OZSVÁRT

Folkloric Inspiration and Classical Tradition in the Late String Quartets of László Lajtha

 

The results of the folk music collecting movement – established in the first decade of the 20th century by Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály – signed the path for musicology and influenced the compositorial style of the next decades in Hungary. Applying folklore material in classical compositions is difficult because of tonal and formal problems and political overtones. In this way, the emerging of citatums or thematic materials from folk music in a classical composition may hold complex meaning and layered associations. It can be asserted that the way in which a composer uses folk music means more than merely technical skill and reveals an artistic statement. In my essay I investigate this phenomenon with the help of two string quartets written by the Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist László Lajtha. His 7th and 10th string quartets were both completed in the early 1950’s but their way of using folkloric inspiration shows many interesting differences. The analysis of the compositional process and the reception of these two works reveals the manifold possibilities lying in folk music as a source of inspiration.

 

Viktória Ozsvárt is a junior 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 Students’ Associations Conference. In 2017 and in 2018 she won a New National Excellence Scholarship. Currently she is working on her doctoral thesis as 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).

 

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GERGELY LOCH

 

The Jingle of the Hungarian State Railways
A Musicological Approach

 

In the early 1970s, the directorate of the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) asked electric engineer Tamás Székely (*1925) to design a device capable of playing a jingle before each loudspeaker announcement at railway stations. At the same time, the company invited professional musicians to take part in a competition with their suggested jingle melodies. The anonymity of the competition inspired Tamás Székely to a playful experiment: he placed his own little melody in secret among the other numbered entries. Székely’s jingle turned out to be the winning one, so his circuit was finally implemented with his own melody. It was put in countrywide use in 1974, and has been heard ever since. In this study, I analyse both Székely’s electrophonic musical instrument and the jingle played by it, presenting documents of their genesis, usage and reception. Székely intended to create a tune that had „Hungarian character”. I argue that in this light the jingle can be thought of as a miniature csárdás. Touching upon questions of semiotics, I contrast Székely’s tune with the new jingle of SNCF (introduced in 2005), an openly manipulative product of sonic branding. I also tell about the Swedish afterlife of the MÁV jingle due to Magnus Bäckström’s Hungarian Railroad Polka and its different versions, and I draw attention to how this fiddle tune is characteristic of the Swedish folk music revival movement. Although not a professional musician, Székely used to be active as a highly skilled amateur pianist, just like almost all other members of his family (including his maternal grandfather, the architect Marcell Komor, a famous master of Hungarian art nouveau). He is very well acquainted with the repertoire of Western classical music and he is also aware of Hungarian urban popular musical styles. The jingle is so short that the Hungarian listeners’ heterogeneous associations, ranging from an interwar period foxtrot to an aria from J. S. Bach’s Magnificat,
could all be explained by accidental similarities. Yet, thinking of Székely’s rich musical mind, conscious as well as subconscious, it’s likely that such connections are not merely accidental.

 

Gergely Loch is an Assistant Researcher at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. He studied musicology at the same institution and at the University of Stockholm. Since 2013 he has been lecturing at the Liszt Academy on the history of electroacoustic music and conducting PhD research on the aesthetics of birdsong.

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ANNA LASKAI

Entries in Ernst von Dohnányi’s Music Books

 

The American Estate of Ernst von Dohnányi has arrived in Hungary, and it contains a number of remarkable sources, for example the items of the composer’s scores and library. These documents are now in the care of the Institute for Musicology’s Archives for 20th–21st Century Hungarian Music, under the Research Centre for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. Therefore the author of this paper was the first who could examine the books and scores that Dohnányi possessed in the final decade of his life. The article examines the items of the composer’s American library, especially the documents of Dohnányi’s professional inquiry: the marginal notes in his music books and theoretical works, which he definitely used to prepare for teaching at Florida State University in his American years.

 

Anna Laskai is an assistant research fellow at the Archives for 20th–21st Century Hungarian Music at the Istitute for Musicology. In 2016 she published a monograph on Gyula Dávid. In 2017 she obtained her diploma in musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest) and she won the Fellowship Granted by the Hungarian Republic. Currently, Anna Laskai is a student in the Doctoral School of Musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music, the theme of her planned dissertation is also directed towards Dohnányi’s work.

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