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sun 21 apr 2024 16:00 hrs

Kodály and Bartók: Hungarian sound innovators drawing on indigenous inspiration.

Between the two World Wars, composers Zoltán Kodály (pictured) and Béla Bartók traversed the sparsely populated regions of Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Using Edison’s phonograph, they recorded hundreds of wax cylinders, capturing the folk music sung or played on violin or shepherd’s flute by farmers and craftsmen. They incorporated these indigenous sounds and melodies into their own compositions. Thus, the verbunkos (an old recruiting dance of the army) became a typical element of their contemporary Hungarian music.


1)    Kodály: Dances for piano ‘Marosszék dansen’; [comp. 1927]. Valentina Tóth (piano); [recording: 2013].

2)    Kodály: Dances for orchestra ‘Galánta dansen’; [comp. 1933]. Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Charles Mackerras; [recording: 2004].

1)    Bartók: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.3 (BB. 127, Sz. 119); [comp. 1945]. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano); conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; [recording: 2023].

a)    Allegreto

b)    Adagio religioso

c)     Allegro vivace











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