Dances of Marosszék

Composer: Zoltán Kodály (b. 1882 - d. 1967)
Share :


Composer: Zoltán Kodály (b. 1882 - d. 1967)

Performance date: 07/07/2012

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1930

Duration: 00:12:58

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Solo

Artists: Ewa Kupiec - [piano]

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
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
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.