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Zoltán Kodály: Summer Evening

  • for orchestra
  • 1 2 2 2 - 2 0 0 0, str
  • Duration: 18’
  • Instrumentation details:
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Zoltán Kodály
  • Table of contents:
    Sommerabend (für Orchester)
  • Dedication: ad Arturo Toscanini "... Is etenim saepenumero me adhortatus est ..."

arrangements & translations

Work specifications



Arrangement Information

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Work introduction

If one surveys occasionally the own creation from a critical point of view, one recognizes clearer than any stranger all faults and imperfections of the work. This and that would succeed better today, if one only could do it once again!

But the former self appears as a stranger in this work and it seldom occurs, that we have the courage to demolish the statue, in order to refound it. I wrote this work first in 1906. After two performances it was put aside. If I should succeed today to remove the ancient failures, I shall have to thank for it to a great master, whose example and request have roused again in me this feeling of responsibility and this constant dissatisfaction, which want to begin all again.

The title means only that the work was conceived on summer evenings at newly cut corn fields and at the murmuring Adriatic waves. It may remain as reminiscence.

The original tone-colour has remained unaltered: the instruments are the same, only the 3rd Horn was removed.

The musical material is in general the ancient one; only it achieves perhaps better in his new form the aspired character of Chladni’s figures.

This new shape requires no further explanation:

Questo sonetto non divido, perocchè assai lo manifesta la sua ragione.

Zoltán Kodály


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Budapest (HU)
Orchester des Ungarischen Königlichen Opernhauses Budapest
István Kerner

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