Magyarpalatka / Pălatca double bass playing style. This article discusses some specific details about the playing style of three different bass players from the village Magyarpalatka in the Mezőség region of Transylvania. None of these gentlemen are still playing. Two of them have passed-away, one is no longer playing because of health reasons. The musicians described are: Mácsingó Márton „Karcsi” (1934–1992) Kovács Márton „Puki” (1941–), Kodoba Károly „Ica bácsi” (1924–2000). By Koncz Gergely – from a recent Hungarian Heritage House publication on instrumental folk music – Palatka Folk Music.
Kása Béla – Photographer. An exhibition of photographs of Transylvanian musicians was at the Palace of the Arts in Budapest from January 18–30, 2014. Béla is known for his haunting and unique portraiture – of Transylvanian village musicians, herders in Hungary’s Hortobágy region, the Muzsikás Ensemble, Transylvanian Gypsies, and Western India’s Rabari people, etc. His photographs have been featured many, many times in folkMAGazin over the years. Printed here is Berán István’s speech that opened the exhibit at the Palace of the Arts.
Kóka Rozália’s column: love and courtship in the village in ‘the old days’. This is a sad story from Bukovina about a young man who fell in love with a girl. This girl had an older sister that wasn’t married yet. The father of the girls wanted the older daughter married before he’d give his second daughter away. Finally the father agreed to let his younger daughter get married first. The wedding and festivities all went fine – until the groom woke up the next morning to find that the older sister of his bride was the one in bed with him. Selected from Kóka Rozália’s book, Egy asszon, két asszon. A collection of tales from Bukovina and Moldavia.
Review: Három a… a new full length program by the Szőttes Ensemble – premiered in Pozsony (Bratislava, Slovakia) on November 28, 2013. The program features traditional dance and music from: Dunántúl (Southern Hungary), Mezőség (Transylvania) and Felvidék – or Hungarian communities in Slovakia (in this case specifically Zoboralja, Magyarbőd, Gömör). This professional chamber dance company is based in Pozsony and has been functioning continuously since 1969. Their specialty is material from the Hungarian communities in Slovakia. They perform regularly in Slovakia and Hungary, in 2012 did a one month tour in Australia, etc. The artistic director is Gémesi Zoltán. Review by Takács András.
CD reviews: Buda Folk Band’s new record – this band calls their own music: worldly (or… profane, secular, temporal) Hungarian folk music. They play acoustic music heavily based on Hungarian folk music. They are musicians who, according to this review, have equal portions of professional humility (talent) and enough ‘wild blood’ – to put some fun into making good music. The Rév Band’s new recording Révület is another new recording that is highly recommended here. They play acoustic music based and rooted in Hungarian folk music while moving out beyond that with taste and talent. By Rácz Mihály from: langologitarok.blog.hu 2013/12/16.
Nyisztor Tinka’s struggles Part II. (Part I. can be found in folkMAGazin 2013/6.) Nyisztor Tinka is woman from the village of Pusztina (Pustiana) in Romanian Moldavia. She was born into a Hungarian Csángó family and into the traditional rural village life. Before communism her family had been one of the more well off (owned more land, etc) families in the village. Th e family upheld some tradition of educating members of the family. She was a good student and went abroad to study in Hungary, then in Switzerland – always on scholarships. After receiving her doctorate she returned to her village, where she still lives. The Csángó people of Moldavia are Roman Catholic. She has been fighting for Hungarian language mass in the village and her quest has taken her all the way to the Vatican. Because this ethnic group – the Csángó people – are a minority in Romania, it is difficult to avoid the ongoing pressure to assimilate. Nyisztor Tinka vigilantly works toward preserving her mother tongue and traditions. As told to Kóka Rozália.
The day after Christmas in 1971. Novák Ferenc, Foltin Jolán, Stoller Antal (all choreographers and researchers) and Módos Péter (writer) set out in a Trabant on a trip to Transylvania to do field collection work on traditional dance, music, and songs. They went to Vársonkolyos (Șuncuiuş), Szék (Sic) Vice, Erdőszakál (Săcalu de Pădure), Pusztakamarás (Cămăraşu), and Jobbágytelke (Sîmbriaş). Reprinted here is Módos Péter’s account of the trip that was first published in Új Írás XII. March, 1972.
folkMAGazin’s 2013 special edition is all about the Kalotaszeg village of Magyarvista (Viştea) in Kolozs County, Romania (in Transylvania).This is the village where Mátyás István ‘Mundruc’ (1911–1977) spent his life. Mundruc was the extraordinary traditional legényes dancer that the renown Hungarian dance researcher, Martin György (1932–1983), followed and documented for some 20 years (hence the dance monograph published posthumously in Budapest in 2004). The special edition provides ethnographical information about the village, and photos.
Jánosi Ensemble and Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos. The Jánosi Ensemble has been functioning since 1975. Early on, they began researching and working with folk melodies that the composers Bartók, Liszt and Haydn used in their compositions. “...Bartók adapted/utilized folk melodies in three different ways: there are times when the only the ’air’ of the melody can be felt; there are times when the melody appears but has been adapted; and there are times when he used the melody as a whole” – the latter type is what the Jánosi Ensemble began to research. Kavakos heard about their work and eventually contacted them. This led to some collaboration and an invitation to join him in a performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 2009. Interview by Grozdits Károly.
The Hungarian Heritage House’s Folklore Documentation Center. This article reports on activities, projects underway, existing collections and databases of this particular section of the HH – a state funded institution (1011Budapest, Corvin tér 8.). Amongst these activities are: completing inventory lists and digitalization of the entire collection inherited from the former Folk Dancer’s Resource Center (the Szakmai Ház), continuing work on the Táncház archive, publishing works on the dance house movement, archiving the various collections that have been obtained by the center and so on. Of course, „there is always more work to be done than there is money and staff to carry it out”. By Kelemen László director of the HH on behalf of the Folklore Documentation Center.
Review: Berecky János: A Magyar népdal új stílusa I–IV. [The “new style” of Hungarian folk song] Akadémiai Kiadó. Budapest. 2013. This publication presents the results of Berecky’s in-depth 20 year study of ‘new style’ folk songs. In Hungarian folk music research, when identifying songs and melodies the musicologists make distinctions between ‘old style’ and ‘new style’ tunes and songs. The emphasis on folk music research has mainly been on the ‘old style’ – since that has been the category in the most danger of dying out. The new style songs have not been considered as valuable. ‘New style’ refers to folklorized versions of composed tunes that crystallized into a style sometime in the mid 19th century. Printed here is folk music researcher Almási István’s review and summary of Berecky’s book and research – a presentation given upon release of the book on September 11th, 2013.
Molnár Vilmos (1962–) is a Transylvanian writer. He lives in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) Romania. He is the editor of the journal Székelyföld and has published several books of his own. Printed here is a tale written in the local dialect about the time when the devil met a local photographer. Men from the Csík region are known for being tough characters. Not the kind you’d want to cross. So, they pose a challenge for even the devil.
A traditional Moldavian Csángó fiddler’s repertoire of melodies. Part I. The fiddler’s name was Gábor Antal (1926–2008). He was from the village of Lujzikalagor /Luizi-Călugăra, located 10 km southwest of the town of Bákó (Bacau) in Moldavia, Romania. This part of the study gives information about the Hungarian dance house movement’s relationship to the Moldavian music and dance, and review of reasons that relatively little research has been done on the instrumental music of this region. Descriptions from 1714, 1838, 1930 and 1997 of the traditional dances of the Moldavian Csángó people are cited. The region has been inhabited by Romanian, German, Polish, Ashkenazi Jewish, Armenian, Rusyn, Turkish, Gypsy peoples. The dances from here are predominantly circle and line dances, or simple couple dances with a fixed structure. Also discussed: traditional music of the region, the village and an overview of Gábor Antal’s life history. By Lipták Dániel.