Author Topic: Kodály's Covert Clan  (Read 13249 times)

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pjme

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2009, 11:38:16 AM »
as half-an-Hungarian, I enjoy Kodaly's music very much. I've mentioned his choral works before ( some of it is of the highest order IMO), and discovered "The spinning room" - a short opera full of great tunes! Hary Janos is fantastic and should be revived as a stage work . However, the Hungarian language does not help....

And yes : both stringquartets are superb.
P.

Offline Christo

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2009, 04:24:34 AM »
I thoroughly enjoy Kodaly's bright, colourful, tuneful blend of folk-inspired romanticism :)

While it is perfectly true to say that a double cd set which contains the Hary Janos Suite, the Peacock Variations, the Dances of Galanta and the Dances of Marosszek-four of Kodaly's most attractive, brilliantly orchestrated pieces-along with the under-rated Concerto for Orchestra and the less impressive Symphony will give you virtually all Kodaly's orchestral works you will be missing out on his three great choral compositions.

The 'Psalmus Hungaricus' of 1923, the Budavari Te Deum of 1936 and the Missa Brevis of 1944/51) are tremendous works, dramatic, powerful, exuberant. The 'Psalmus Hungaricus' is the most famous of the three-although even then not known as much as it should be-but the other two are, in my opinion, equally fine and well worth searching out.


Howcome the two of us seem to be in total agreement, here!  :D Even about the "underratedness" of the Concerto for Orchestra, another longtime favourite of mine? I would add, as another personal favourite, the Theater Overture (1927) - and perhaps the jolly Kálló Double Dance as well.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline jowcol

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2009, 01:25:36 PM »


And Háry János should indeed be much better-known. It's worth listening to for the amazing sound of the cimbalon alone, an instrument I wish was more frequently utilised (Howard Shore used it to great effect in the music to the Lord of the Rings films, mostly in reference to Golum's character).


Haven't listened to this in a while, but Hary Janos is a fave of mine, and I know I feel the need to dig deeper into some of the other works cited in this  thread.

I agree about the Cimbalom-- but I play a similar instrument, which is why I love it so much.  Also like Stravinsky's use of it.

I do recall hearing one of Kodaly's string quartets years back on radio that had a deep impression on me, and I must confess I don't usually go for quartets.



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nut-job

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2009, 03:41:18 PM »
Having listened again to the Sonata for unaccompanied cello again (in two different recordings) my impression is more defined.  I do enjoy the first movement quite a bit, but the continuation of the piece falls apart for me.  I can see how the finale is a favorite of performers, juxtaposing every conceivable performance technique (I assume this is why there are so many recordings of the piece) but musically it strikes me as a mishmash.  Similarly for the Adagio.  In Bach's suites counterpoint was implied by melody lines which jumped between different registers, suggesting two voices.  Kodaly sticks to a monotonous texture in which a bowed melody is accompanied by repetitive plucked notes, gets very annoying after a short time.  In the finale there is an extended passage with the cello playing in very high register (would be high for a violin) with lower strings being strummed.  From the notes to the recording, I gather that this is an extraordinarily imitation of a violin being accompanied by a zither.  But, if that is the sort of music I want to hear, why wouldn't I get some recordings of violin and zither music?  Is this the best way to exploit the sound of the cello? 

Much is made of how expressive this music is, but expressiveness in art comes from the tension between expression and constraint.  In this music that latter is entirely missing, this music is emotional jestures slashing without restraint.  I don't find the piece to be a success, as a whole (although I do like the first movement).


« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 09:52:43 AM by nut-job »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2009, 07:58:03 PM »
The Concerto for Orchestra is indeed a fine work.  I can only imagine its neglect is because it gets compared unfavorably to the heavier, darker Bartok.  The best recording I've heard is Ormandy, which doesn't seem to have made it to commercial CD.  I also recently picked up the Ferencsik, which is very good.  The Hary Janos Suite on the flipside has some beautiful solo turns.  Otherwise you can't go wrong picking up all the Kertesz recordings you can find.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2009, 01:19:48 PM »
The Concerto for Orchestra is indeed a fine work.  I can only imagine its neglect is because it gets compared unfavorably to the heavier, darker Bartok.  The best recording I've heard is Ormandy, which doesn't seem to have made it to commercial CD.  I also recently picked up the Ferencsik, which is very good.  The Hary Janos Suite on the flipside has some beautiful solo turns.  Otherwise you can't go wrong picking up all the Kertesz recordings you can find.

It's so damn tuneful, indeed. There is another underrated concerto for orchestra from the same time-period by Lutosławski (which I think Corey got me into) - these three are a fine trinity, and compliment each other nicely. (Dreams of a 1 CD coupling of all three.)
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nut-job

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2009, 01:56:00 PM »
It's so damn tuneful, indeed. There is another underrated concerto for orchestra from the same time-period by Lutosławski (which I think Corey got me into) - these three are a fine trinity, and compliment each other nicely. (Dreams of a 1 CD coupling of all three.)

Yes, the Lutaslawski CfO is very good.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2010, 04:57:52 AM »
I picked up the 2 CD set mentioned at the front of this thread and am enjoying it a lot.  I concur on the recommendations- Peacock Variations is really great-- it's more more evocative then the name (or idea of variations on a theme) would indicate.  I would aslo suggest Summer Evening as worthy of repeat listenings.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2010, 06:27:51 AM »
There's now a 5 CD Decca set with Dorati and Kertesz recordings.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2010, 08:16:22 AM »
There's now a 5 CD Decca set with Dorati and Kertesz recordings.
Bugger - it contains a piece that the much missed Dundonnell recommended (Psalmus hungaricus). I suppose the twofer would make an ideal gift to someone, which could warrant a purchase of the new box...
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Scarpia

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2010, 01:38:16 PM »
Bugger - it contains a piece that the much missed Dundonnell recommended (Psalmus hungaricus). I suppose the twofer would make an ideal gift to someone, which could warrant a purchase of the new box...

Even though Decca marked the cover as a 5 CD set, it is really a 4 CD set, according to their own web site track listing.  The extra discs are mostly full of the unabridged Hary Janos in addition to the Hary Janos suite.   For my part, I think that 2-fer is all the Kodaly I will ever need.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 01:45:38 PM by Scarpia »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2010, 02:10:00 PM »
Even though Decca marked the cover as a 5 CD set, it is really a 4 CD set, according to their own web site track listing.  The extra discs are mostly full of the unabridged Hary Janos in addition to the Hary Janos suite.   For my part, I think that 2-fer is all the Kodaly I will ever need.

I was wondering why they needed 5 CDs.  Here's the twofer of the complete Hary Janos:

http://www.amazon.com/Zoltan-Kodály-Psalmus-Hungaricus-Variations/dp/B000004249

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2014, 05:21:15 AM »
Listening to this marvelous disc, although the cover is different on mine (Karussel Label)

Kodály

Háry János Suite
Dances of Galanta
Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song (The Peacock)


London Symphony Orchestra
Kertesz



Spineur

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2016, 08:49:20 AM »
I would like also to join Kodály's Covert Clan !
In my old LP collection I had a recording of his solo Cello suite by André Navarra.  After getting rid of all the LP's the need to recover some of the works slowly grows on you.  And it is very telling to see which one you need to get back first.  This suite was not in the first batch, but it came shortly after.
I understand that one can find the work austere and maybe with limited unity between movements.  You can also say that of Liszt B minor for the piano.  But what majesty, what sense of nobility...  I just love this work.  I chose a fairly recent recording, mostly because from one generation to the next the conception that cellist have of their instrument change, and I wanted to hear that.
While I was familiar with the dances of Galanta and Hary Janos suite, which I believe I never heard entirely, my interest was drawn to his sacred music, Psalmus Hungaricus and Missa Brevis, already discussed in the thread.  I do not know how many singers there are in the chorus but these works feel like they are of huge proportion, both by the musical polyphony but also in sheer sound.  The type of stuff that grows on you.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 08:51:13 AM by Spineur »

Turner

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2016, 11:12:52 AM »
The pieces I tend to listen to are the Solo Cello Sonata (various recordings, usually a somewhat subdued one emotionally), the Sonatina and Sonata for Cello & Piano (especially with Varga/Sandor), and the Hary Janos Suite in the stereo Fricsay DG recording.

jlaurson

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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2018, 03:31:14 PM »


These ASV series have earned a very good reputation over time, and this one about Kodály is not an exception. I've enjoyed each work on the CD, being the colourful Symphony in C major the meatiest work on it. If you know the exuberant Galanta Dances and the stunning Peacock Variations, you'll like this. It's quintessential Hungarian, imbued with delicious exotic Magyar airs throughout (above all in the 2nd movement). There are some catchy orchestral effects and some fireworks-like passages, almost like a 2nd Concerto for orchestra. A great work that should not lie into oblivion.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2018, 04:36:27 PM »


These ASV series have earned a very good reputation over time, and this one about Kodály is not an exception. I've enjoyed each work on the CD, being the colourful Symphony in C major the meatiest work on it. If you know the exuberant Galanta Dances and the stunning Peacock Variations, you'll like this. It's quintessential Hungarian, imbued with delicious exotic Magyar airs throughout (above all in the 2nd movement). There are some catchy orchestral effects and some fireworks-like passages, almost like a 2nd Concerto for orchestra. A great work that should not lie into oblivion.

I love Kodaly's Symphony in C major, a delightful and surprisingly neglected work. The slow movement is rapturously beautiful and the finale is very energetic and catchy. I also love his colorful Peacock Variations and Concerto for Orchestra.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2018, 10:58:35 AM »
I love Kodaly's Symphony in C major, a delightful and surprisingly neglected work. The slow movement is rapturously beautiful and the finale is very energetic and catchy. I also love his colorful Peacock Variations and Concerto for Orchestra.

The first time I listened to the Symphony I wasn't impressed (some years ago), but now, wow, a totally different experience.

Offline Christo

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2018, 11:44:15 AM »
The first time I listened to the Symphony I wasn't impressed (some years ago), but now, wow, a totally different experience.
Thanks, helps me to re-discover it again. Always adored the Kodály of the Concerto for Orchestra, Theater Overture, Peacock, AllDances and much more - but found the symphony a bit trepid.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948