Author Topic: Kodály's Covert Clan  (Read 13149 times)

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2021, 03:03:41 PM »
Like you, that is one I haven't heard in some time as well. The Symphony didn't leave an impression on me at the time; maybe I will revisit it again. Your video of Tortelier on Chandos is one I have, paired with a Concerto for Orchestra and Theatre Overture I am not remembering too well either.

Concerto for Orchestra is my personal favorite while I like his other works as well.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2021, 10:07:23 PM »
No mention (recently at least) for Kodaly's chamber music or works for unaccompanied chorus.  These are two fields where I think he particularly excelled.  Much as I enjoy the (quite small) body of orchestral music I can't say it sticks with me in a way other works do....



The frustrating thing is that apart from some hard to find and expensive Hungaraton discs the chorus works are all but impossible to source.

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2021, 02:06:07 AM »
No mention (recently at least) for Kodaly's chamber music or works for unaccompanied chorus.  These are two fields where I think he particularly excelled.  Much as I enjoy the (quite small) body of orchestral music I can't say it sticks with me in a way other works do....

The frustrating thing is that apart from some hard to find and expensive Hungaraton discs the chorus works are all but impossible to source.

Plus there are so many volumes of unaccompanied choral works on Hungaroton. But, it was this folk-based music that he centered his music education philosophies around, so they remain important. I don't know them nearly as well as I probably should. For another day...
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2021, 02:21:40 AM »
Plus there are so many volumes of unaccompanied choral works on Hungaroton. But, it was this folk-based music that he centered his music education philosophies around, so they remain important. I don't know them nearly as well as I probably should. For another day...

yes indeed but there are some discs which focus more on the concert rather than educational works and there is a lot of glorious music there.  Also, there is such a strong central European tradition in their choirs that the actual sound these groups make is wonderful (I think much the same about Smetana and Jancek's choral music)

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2021, 02:23:39 AM »
Also, there is such a strong central European tradition in their choirs that the actual sound these groups make is wonderful (I think much the same about Smetana and Jancek's choral music)

Agreed!
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #65 on: June 11, 2021, 02:27:27 AM »
No mention (recently at least) for Kodaly's chamber music or works for unaccompanied chorus.  These are two fields where I think he particularly excelled.  Much as I enjoy the (quite small) body of orchestral music I can't say it sticks with me in a way other works do....



The frustrating thing is that apart from some hard to find and expensive Hungaraton discs the chorus works are all but impossible to source.
I haven't heard his string quartets before but will see if I might be able to listen to them online....looking forward to it!  :)

Agreed!
VonStupp,

Are you a fan of his music for cello and cello/piano?  That was how I was first introduced to his music.  When I heard his Sonata for Solo Cello, my jaw dropped!

PD

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #66 on: June 11, 2021, 10:47:22 AM »
I haven't heard his string quartets before but will see if I might be able to listen to them online....looking forward to it!  :)  Are you a fan of his music for cello and cello/piano?  That was how I was first introduced to his music.  When I heard his Sonata for Solo Cello, my jaw dropped!

I am afraid my knowledge of Kodály ends with his choral and orchestral music. I will make sure to check out this sonata you mentioned!
VS
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 01:04:26 PM by VonStupp »
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #67 on: June 12, 2021, 05:16:44 AM »
I am afraid my knowledge of Kodály ends with his choral and orchestral music. I will make sure to check out this sonata you mentioned!
VS
I did find this video for you with Janos Starker.  If you're not familiar with his recordings, you should really check them out.  He was an amazing cellist and was justly identified with this work.  I was trying to find an earlier film of him (from the 1950's) which I had stumbled across once but am unable to now.  The sound level is a bit low here; I would suggest either using headphones or if you have a decent pair of computer speakers hooking them up.  There are also other recordings of him on youtube from either LPs, concerts, etc. too.  I don't play the cello or any other instrument, but it looks to me to be an exceedingly difficult piece to play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5D4_cZ0f0s

PD

p.s.  The Kodaly starts about 30 minutes in (see comments...think that it was the third one down for timings).
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 05:34:11 AM by Pohjolas Daughter »

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #68 on: June 12, 2021, 06:31:13 AM »
I did find this video for you with Janos Starker.  If you're not familiar with his recordings, you should really check them out.  He was an amazing cellist and was justly identified with this work.  I was trying to find an earlier film of him (from the 1950's) which I had stumbled across once but am unable to now.  The sound level is a bit low here; I would suggest either using headphones or if you have a decent pair of computer speakers hooking them up.  There are also other recordings of him on youtube from either LPs, concerts, etc. too.  I don't play the cello or any other instrument, but it looks to me to be an exceedingly difficult piece to play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5D4_cZ0f0s

PD

p.s.  The Kodaly starts about 30 minutes in (see comments...think that it was the third one down for timings).

I do have a couple of János Starker on Mercury Living Presence; the Dvorak Cello Concerto and the Bach Cello Suites come to mind. I see there was a 'Starker plays Kodaly' on Delos; I may check it out too. Thanks and I will check out that video the next time I can sit at a computer! VS
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 02:14:57 AM by VonStupp »
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #69 on: June 12, 2021, 01:50:41 PM »

I have the following CD in the mail, after several recommendations attesting to it being a superb set of performances and it seems a fine introduction to those interested in this composer:



Just ordered this, knowing little of Kodály's music, but liking what I heard. I reckon it should be a good introduction.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #70 on: July 13, 2021, 08:24:59 AM »

I do have a couple of János Starker on Mercury Living Presence; the Dvorak Cello Concerto and the Bach Cello Suites come to mind. I see there was a 'Starker plays Kodaly' on Delos; I may check it out too. Thanks and I will check out that video the next time I can sit at a computer! VS
VonStupp,

Have you managed getting around to listening to his Sonata for Solo Cello yet?  :)

Just ordered this, knowing little of Kodály's music, but liking what I heard. I reckon it should be a good introduction.
How did you like it VLF?

PD

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #71 on: July 13, 2021, 01:34:48 PM »
VonStupp,

Have you managed getting around to listening to his Sonata for Solo Cello yet?  :)
How did you like it VLF?

PD

I finally just got it a couple of days ago, and haven't even listened to any of it yet. Will rectify that ASAP.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #72 on: July 13, 2021, 01:44:20 PM »
I finally just got it a couple of days ago, and haven't even listened to any of it yet. Will rectify that ASAP.

I haven’t listened to any Kodály in years, so I’ll definitely be interested in reading your impressions of the music. IIRC, The Peacock Variations was the piece that won me over, but I could be misremembering. I’d like to get his chamber music, particularly the SQs at some juncture.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2021, 02:20:35 PM »
Just listened to the Háry János Suite, which might be his most famous piece. I liked it! Very colorful orchestration, quite Bartókian.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #74 on: July 13, 2021, 02:26:59 PM »
Just listened to the Háry János Suite, which might be his most famous piece. I liked it! Very colorful orchestration, quite Bartókian.

Oh I so love the Háry János Suite. It's honestly, one of my favourite orchestral works of any composer.

I particularly love the Kertesz and London Symphony Orchestra recording.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #75 on: July 13, 2021, 03:22:31 PM »
Just listened to the Háry János Suite, which might be his most famous piece. I liked it! Very colorful orchestration, quite Bartókian.

Yes, but the Bartók of Hungarian Sketches and not the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion obviously. ;)
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #76 on: July 13, 2021, 09:37:35 PM »
I haven't heard his string quartets before but will see if I might be able to listen to them online....looking forward to it!  :)
VonStupp,

Are you a fan of his music for cello and cello/piano?  That was how I was first introduced to his music.  When I heard his Sonata for Solo Cello, my jaw dropped!

PD

Indeed, those cello works, especially the solo sonata, are absolutely essential repertoire for that instrument ...

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #77 on: July 14, 2021, 12:26:05 AM »
Just listened to the Háry János Suite, which might be his most famous piece. I liked it! Very colorful orchestration, quite Bartókian.
Glad that you enjoyed it!  I have this recording of it (on CD):



Indeed, those cello works, especially the solo sonata, are absolutely essential repertoire for that instrument ...
Reading your posting--and quoting my posting--reminded me that I still need to hunt down his quartets.   ::)

Whose recording(s) of the cello works do you like MT?

PD

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Kodly's Covert Clan
« Reply #78 on: July 14, 2021, 01:47:11 AM »
I've assembled these, yet a lot of the bigger names missing:

CD  Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Ullner/classcd 353-54
cd   Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Bengtsson/daco 425
LP   Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Varga/vox box 75 svbx 560
LP   Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Turovsky/chan 84 abrd 1102
LP   Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Petras/sup 81 1111 2847
LP   Kodaly:"Sonate f. Cello Solo" op.8 (1915)/Perenyi/hg st 78 slpx 11864

Initially I liked the Miroslav Petras a lot. On the LP cover photo, he looks like a boring accountant with huge glasses (1981), but his recording was good. Now I'd find it much more difficult to choose; would have to compare in detail. Some are more subdued or lyrical, some are highly dramatic or aggressive, and one's listening preferences can change from time to time ...

If curious, some Petras MP3 : https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/266711-strauss-kodaly-sonaty?trackId=3131657
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 02:06:08 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline amw

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Re: Kodály's Covert Clan
« Reply #79 on: July 14, 2021, 03:08:06 AM »
I have the Truls Mørk, Miklós Perényi, and Natalie Clein recordings. With the caveat that Kodály is not a composer I collect, or know much about, the solo cello sonata is in my view a masterpiece and unwisely inspired me in my youth to write several extremely difficult pieces for solo cello.

The most immediately obvious feature of the work is its scordatura tuning, with the C and G strings tuned down to B and F-sharp. Thus, the lower three open strings produce a B minor triad, also coincidentally (or not) the tonality of the sonata. The other immediately obvious feature is that it is the largest-scale individual piece for solo cello written.... maybe ever? An average performance lasts about 32 minutes. Almost certainly there's some minimalist/drone pieces by e.g. John Cage or Eliane Radigue or Tony Conrad with a longer runtime, but the very much non-minimalist language here, using a relatively conventional late romantic musical language highly dependent on harmony and counterpoint, somehow makes listening to this more exhausting. I expect this may put off prospective listeners. For cellists, in difficulty and endurance demands, it is roughly the equivalent of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" sonata and seems to be approached with a similar degree of either reverence or distaste.

The complete cello music takes up three CDs (with the ever-reliable Perényi doing the honours; the Hungaroton set is the only one I know of). I have presumably listened to all of it at some point, but apart from the much smaller-scale Sonata for Cello and Piano, I don't remember any of it as well.