- Zoltán Kodály (b. 1882 - d. 1967)
- Composition Year
- Ewa Kupiec [piano]
|Composer||Zoltán Kodály (b. 1882 - d. 1967)|
|Work Title||Dances of Marosszék|
|Artist(s)||Ewa Kupiec [piano]|
|Performance Date||Saturday 7th July 2012|
|Performance Venue||Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,|
|Recording Engineer||Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm|
|Programme Note Writer||© Ian Fox|
The Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály studied at the Royal Academy in Budapest from 1900 to 1905. There he became friendly with fellow student Béla Bartók and the two pursued their mutual interest in folk music, travelling widely throughout Eastern Europe to note down the traditional tunes and harmonies of the many cultures and sub-groups in that wide and varied area, realising these melodies would soon vanish with the advance of modern living. Hungarian themes play a large part in Kodály's output and he arranged many of them for various vocal and instrumental groupings. Marosszék is a town in the Hungarian province of Szekely where he discovered a valuable storehouse of traditional songs and dances. He took six of these melodies and wove them into an integrated work for piano, premièred by former pupil Louis Kentner in Budapest on March 17th 1927. Toscanini suggested that the piece would make a good orchestral work and Kodály’s transcription had its first performance in Dresden on November 28th 1930 under the baton of Fritz Busch, with Toscanini following in the USA later..
aware that the traditional melodies were quickly disappearing Kodály,
like Bartók, was anxious to save them and described these dances as
having their roots in
a remote past and represent a fairyland that has disappeared.
The music starts with a slow, impressive tune which acts as a
rondo-style link between the other dances. Kodály had published this
melody in a study earlier that year, stating it came
from Gyergyoremete; the other tunes originating in Bukovina and
Gyergyo. There are three interludes each demonstrating a different
folk-style and the suite ends with a brilliant coda.