Zoltán Kodály: Hungarian Folk Music (arranged by: Zoltán Kocsis)

Zoltán Kodály Hungarian Folk Music
Hungarian Folk Music

Zoltán Kodály: Hungarian Folk Music (arranged by: Zoltán Kocsis)

Scored for:
for voice and orchestra
Zoltán Kodály
Zoltán Kocsis (2004)
Text author:
Original language:
Elisabeth M. Lockwood; M. W. Pursey; Bence Szabolcsi; Michael Dimi Calvocoressi; Emma Kodály
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, cimb, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb (+cl(A))
2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(A))
3rd clarinet in A (+bass cl(Bb)
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C (+tpt(Bb))
2nd trumpet in C (+tpt(Bb))
3rd trumpet in C (+tpt(Bb))
1st trombone
2nd trombone
bass trombone
violin I
violin II
Table of contents:
Elkiáltom magamat - Lauf fang' ich zu singen an - Far across the village green
Kocsi, szekér - Noch ein Monat - Wheelcart, barrow
Virágos kenderem - Blüh'nder Hanf - All the hemp
Kádár István - Stefan Kádár - Stephen Kádár
: Akkor szép az erdö... - Schön ist's in dem Walde... - Lovely is the forest
Cigánynóta - Zigeunerlied - Gipsy song
A mohácsi malomgátba'... - Im Bach von Mohács - Hear the rushes rustling
Öreg vagyok már én - Alt bin ich geworden - I am old and bald now
Asszony, asszony, ki az ágyból! - Alte, Alte, marsch vom Bett 'raus! - Woman, woman, out of your bed!
A növérek - Die Schwestern - The Sisters
: Ludaim, lúdaim - Gänselein - My Geese
Rákóczi kesergöje -Rákóczi Klage - Rákóczi's Lament
Àrva madár - Trau 're nicht - Lonely Bird
Körtéfa - Birnenbaum - The Pear Tree of Gyöngyös
Tücsöklakodalom - Hochzeit der Grille - The Cricket's Wedding
: Puciné - Frau Putzchen - Mistress Prue
Katona vagyok én - Bin Soldat geworden - Called to serve my country
Vasárnap bort inni - Sonntag fest Wein saufen - Sit and drink all Sunday
Szabó Erzsi - Arme Lisbeth - Poor Elsi
: Arról alúl - Weit herum - Over yonder
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Hungarian Folk Music

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Zoltán Kocsis (1952-2016) was one of Hungary’s most important composers in the latter half of the 20th century. His work as a Bartók performer was pathbreaking; he recorded all of Bartók’s compositions written for piano and tracked down and published all the works which Bartók himself had produced for phonograph records. He was also an authentic Bartók conductor. His endeavours as a composer included completing Arnold Schönberg’s opera Moses und Aron and arranging works by Ravel and Debussy for piano, apart from composing his own music.

Kocsis chose the 20 Hungarian Folk Songs from Zoltán Kodály’s piano arrangements in the collections he had recorded with peasants in Transylvania and other regions of Hungary at that time, together with his friend and companion Béla Bartók.

Kocsis was faithful to Kodály’s intentions when he orchestrated the latter’s arrangements, thereby bringing the folksongs closer to art song – concert music. 12 of the 20 songs are set for soprano and orchestra, while the remainder calls for a tenor. The two soloists provide contrast, as do the mood and duration of the individual songs; tragic ballades are followed by happy melodies, lasting between 44 seconds and 3 min. 30 sec.

Altogether, this is a composition for voices and orchestra which makes great musical and technical demands on both soloists. It would be difficult to use original peasant soloists in this version; the piece requires opera singers such as those who premiered them, conducted by Zoltán Kocsis himself.

As an hommage, Kocsis chose a folk song to close the work which Bartók had recorded in Transylvania in 1906.

World première

Palace of Arts, Budapest (HU)
Ungarische Nationalphilharmonie
Zoltán Kocsis
Main soloists:
Eszter Sümegi, S; Bernadette Wiedemann, A; Szabolcs Brickner,T; Bence Asztalos, B

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