“Folk Music Without Borders” on Hungarian Radio – MR1. This is a 55 minute program broadcast in Hungarian at Hungarian Radio ’prime time’: 1.05 p.m. every Sunday afternoon. The 100th program was recently aired (it started in October 2007). They focus on Hungarian folk music and music of other ethnic groups in the region, but are not limited only to folk music of the region. The program format includes interview with a selected relevant musical guest interspersed with lots of good folk music. It is repeated every Monday night at 11.05 p.m. and can also be accessed on the MR1 website. Program staff : Éri Péter, Vasváry Annamária, Vida Antal, Ménes Ágnes. Report by Henics Tamás.
Report on the 21st Folk Music and Folk Dance Festival that was held in the town of Sepsiszentgyörgy [Sfântu Gheorghe] in Romania on November 13–15, 2009. The event was organized and sponsored by the Lajtha László Foundation and the Háromszék Folk Dance Ensemble with a special theme honoring the memory and music of two traditional musicians from Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania: Berki ‘Árus’ Ferenc and Fodor ‘Neti’ Sándor. The Zurboló, Perkó and Háromszék dance groups performed as well as local tradition preserving groups from six villages in the Kalotaszeg region. A band and two dancers from the village of Szilágysámson [Şamşud] in the Szilágyság region of Western Transylvania were also performing guests. There was an audience of 1110 at the event, with 1300 people who particpated in the program. By Czilli Balázs.
Folk dance performance – 2009 December 14, Millenium Coffehouse, Szeged, Hungary. A small group of 8 dancers and 4 musicians got together to present an unusual and well-recieved program of dances, song and prose from Hungary’s Hortobágy region and the Kalotaszeg and Mezőség regions of Transylvania. See list of dancers and musicians in the Hungarian article. Report by Kukár Barnabás Manó.
Vikár Béla – the Folklorist (Part 1.) Excerpts from the exhibition of photos and documents at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest from October 2009 until January 2010. The exhibition will be set up again at the Dance House Festival in Budapest March 27–28, 2010. Curators of the exhibition are Pávai István and Sebő Ferenc. It was sponsored by the Hungarian Heritage House and the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography. Vikár Béla was born 150 years ago. He began doing folklore collection work writing down folk tales and songs using shorthand from the end of the 1870’s. He was the first person in Europe to use the phonograph to record folk songs (1896). He recorded Hungarian folk songs and the folk music of other ethnic groups in the Hungarian territory. In this issue are some of Vikár’s own writings about his collection work, his ideas for organization of collections, his time studying in Finland and a letter from his mother telling about her own work collecting folk songs in Somogy County.
5th Wedding Traditions Festival – Földes, Hungary November 27–28, 2009. An important traditional aspect of weddings here is the master of ceremonies – the Vőfély. This is the person who directs and leads the events of the entire wedding with an ongoing banter in traditional verse. Vőfély-s from all over the Hungarian language area meet and are documented at this event each year. This year they celebrated release of a book on the material collected to date at these events. The first in a series: Vőfély Traditions – Hungarian Plains. Published in Hungarian by the Karácsony Sándor Cultural Center, Földes, Hungary. 2009. Report by Juhász Erika.
Literary column. In the short story here, the character ’Keresdi’ contemplates death in two situations: one fresh incident seen on a wet Budapest sidewalk and one in the past – the tragic death of a friend in a horse drawn wagon accident on a deserted country road perhaps in Transylvania. By Kacsirek Ottó.
New recording: Music from the Kis-Küküllő River region of Transylvania – Bárdosi Ildikó (native of the region, now lives in Debrecen area) sings, accompanied by musicians from the region along with Molnár Miklós on violin and Mester László on viola.
35th Anniversary – Nyírség Dance Ensemble, Nyíregyháza, Hungary. In November of 2009 this outstanding and celebrated amateur folk dance ensemble rose to the occasion with a superb gala show in their hometown in Northeastern Hungary. So many nationally acclaimed and simply great dancers, choreographers, choreographies and performances have come from this group over the years! Report and congratulations from Karádi Zsolt.
Report on the 2009 Mendocino Folklore Camp, a folk dance camp in California. Printed here in both English and Hungarian. By Sue Foy (translated by Bede Judit).
Reprint from quart.hu webpage – February 10th 2010. The London world music publication, Songlines Magazine, regularly sends out CD compilations of folk and world music from a selected highlighted country with its magazine. The February 2010 issue of Songlines included a compilation from Hungary. This writing outlines the process and background behind selections made for the CD and the conditions for inclusion on the compilation. The 6th paragraph of the article in Hungarian lists the artists who actually appear on the compilation.
Kóka Rozália’s series on women’s life stories: in this issue is part one of Álmászt Bedroszian Kovách’s life story. Álmászt’s father was from Armenia, her mother was Hungarian. Álmászt was born in Szabadka [Subotica], former Yugoslavia in 1937. She was trained to be a professional singer and then sang all over Yugoslavia and Europe with the Yugoslav Army’s performing group. Later she was solist for Újvidék [Novi Sad] Radio. She married scientist Kovách Béla in 1957.
Bittersweet / Édeskeserű – the argument continues. The debate began with Dreisziger’s bitter reaction (folkMAGazin 2009/4) to the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble’s choreography that premiered last spring. More positive reviews have since come from local prefessionals. Here Dreisziger sticks to his totally negative reaction to this show. “...in this piece and the State Ensemble’s whole contemporary direction of work; music, dance and tradition serve merely as instruments of artistic expression [...] the relationship should be the other way around...”. Dreisziger mentions that programs like Zsuráfszky Sr.’s ’Martin Archive’ is more what he thinks the State Ensemble should be doing...
Miqueu Montanaro is a musician from an obscure and interesting region of Southern France called Occitania. He plays folk, world and all kinds of music on a plethora of flutes and travels the world with his band. His wife is Hungarian. His music is well-known in Hungary and he has collaborated with many Hungarian musicians over the years. This article/interview by K. Tóth László was published first in Magyar Nemzet Magazin on 2010 February 20.
And beyond the forest lies Transylvania – The 2010 Special Issue of folkMAGazin presents a piece by the wellknown Transylvanian Hungarian poet Kányádi Sándor along with work of Hungarian photographers Zátonyi Tibor, Czellár Gabriella and Molnár Zoltán. The forward was written by cartographer Bába Imre.
Sipos Mihály: Muzsikás Ensemble founding member and violinist, mathematician at the Institute of Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This article talks mainly about Mihály’s activities in music, his belief that music and movement should be taught in the schools and Muzsikás’ program of traveling to 50 schools a year (since 2005) holding special music classes. Mihály’s enthusiasm and devotion to music extends to most everything in his life. He and his family have been residents of a part of Budapest called ‘Szentimreváros’ for decades. On January 22nd, 2010 Sipos Mihály and painter Szkok Mihály were awarded the Pro Cultura Újbuda award. Article reprinted from Népszabadság 2010 January 28. By Csider István Zoltán.
Kóka Rozália’s children’s column. In Hungary, names of national heroes Petőfi (the poet) and Kossuth (the statesman) are important year-round. But every year around March 15th, these names and their stories are on everyone’s lips as Hungary commemorates the war of 1848–49. Here we have excerpts from Petőfi ’s diary and his poem entitled [Lenkey’s squadron] and other related stories.
An international conference on Hungarian folk art and culture is to be held (within the framework of the National Dance House Festival) on March 26th (at the Hungarian Heritage House) and 27th (at the Sport Arena) in Budapest. A full program of lectures and discussions is offered. Organized by the Teleki László Foundation, Hungarian Folk Arts Council and Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Vikár Béla – the Folklorist – Part 2. Excerpts from the photo and document exhibition held at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest from October 2009 until January 2010. Curators: Pávai István and Sebő Ferenc/Sponsors: Hungarian Heritage House and Hungarian Museum of Ethnography. Part Two gives us Vikár’s description of trying to get funding from offi cials during the 1890s for the project of collecting folk music and then how that changed with the invention of the phonograph. Then comes commentary on suspicion of the machine in the villages and other problems of collecting songs in the 1890’s, for example: “...We brought shame to the village by having the elderly women sing for us. There was a law there that said women over the age of 60 may sing only in church...”
Cigánd is a community of some 3000 inhabitants in northeastern Hungary. The long history of the celebrated children’s dance folk group from this town is wellknown in Hungary’s folk dance movements. Dancer and choreographer, director of the ExperiDance Ensemble, Román Sándor started out in this group. This children’s group is now defunct – a casualty of Hungary’s social-economic crisis. Here writings about the group by Nagy István (2006) and Kovács Henrik (2009) are reviewed, recommended and quoted.
Announcement: a new foundation. Hét Szabad Népművészet Alapítvány [Seven Free Folk Arts Foundation] – an umbrella organization to include a wide range of activities around collection, exhibition, publication and events involving European and Hungarian folk tradition. Curatorium members: Csernyus Lőrinc (architect), Szabó Zoltán (museologist) and Kiss Ferenc (musician, publisher). The foundation is now accepting contributions. See announcement in Hungarian for bank and contact info.
New Publication: Apák és fiúk [Fathers and Sons] By Henics Tamás, 2010. Published by: Mecséri Ladikos Foundation, Mecsér, Hungary. A decade’s worth of photographs of Hungarian folk musicians and dancers passing their art on to their sons.
List of summer 2010 folk dance, music, and crafts camps to be held in Hungary and surrounding countries.
Report on the traditional dance collection project going on in Baranya County (Southern Hungary). The main traditional dance types found here are the ‘ugrós’ and ‘csárdás’. The author acquaints us with history of previous dance and ethnographic research and collection work done in the region and then describes recent student diploma work written on dance of the region, and work presently in progress. There is discussion of performance styles of different traditional dancers filmed. Includes bibliography. By Balogh János.
Kóka Rozália’s series on women’s life stories: part two of singer Álmászt Bedroszian Kovách’s life story. Álmászt’s father was from Armenia, her mother was Hungarian. Álmászt was born in Szabadka [Subotica], former Yugoslavia in 1937. She married scientist Kovách Béla in 1957...
New Publication: Unger Balázs: Galgamenti vonósbandák [String Bands of Hungary’s Galga Region] March, 2010 Hagyományok Háza, Budapest. Material collected by cymbalom player and folk music teacher Unger Balázs between 1996 and 2007 from Gypsy and non-Gypsy traditional musicians in the region. Accompanying the book is a CD of music played by traditional musicians from the region recorded between 1950 and the present.
New recording. Eszembe jutottál [You came to mind]. Etnofon Records, Fonó. 2010 ER-CD 103. Born in 1943, Cseh Tamás was a wildly popular Hungarian song writer/singer, who began his music career in the 1970s. He died in 2009. Everyone misses his voice and his music. This record is a tribute to some of his most well-loved songs – performed by a variety of the best bands in Hungary today. The final cut is a recording of Cseh himself. Announcement by Marton László Távolodó.
Vót, hol nem vót [Once upon a time] – Moldavian Csángó folk tales. Compiled by Zakariás Erzsébet. Koinónia. Kolozsvár, Romania 2009. A collection of 111 folk tales from 12 Moldavian villages and 42 different story tellers; selected from the archive of the Romanian Folklore Institute in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca. The tales were collected between 1951 and 1958 and „bring us a vanished, unique world”. Includes interesting description of some of the differences between today’s Hungarian language and the archaic Hungarian in the tales. Review by Dala Sára.
Book review. Nesztor Iván: Túl a vizen. Editio Musica Kiadó. Budapest, 2009. Nesztor Iván is an ethnomusicologist, folk music collector and author of numerous publications. The new publication (book and CD) on Hungarian folk flute music is criticised here as presenting this genre in a false, unauthentic way. The music on the CD is referred to as „affected operatic folk song”. The reviewer prefers the work of Juhász Zoltán and Balogh Sándor as presenting Hungarian folk flute genre in a more authentic way. By Dóra Áron.
Review: „Water, Wine, Blood” – Nyírség Folk Dance Ensemble. On March 15th, 2010, this dance group performed a new choreography by Kácsor István. This excellent ensemble is well-known all over Hungary. Here the dancers were applauded for their eff ortless dancing – „as if dancing was a natural expression; a form of existence for them”. The full length piece is about man’s life and the women who help him through it – in folk dance. The piece is described as „experimental” with some aspects that were not particularly understandable. Review by B.Koltai Gabriella.
MAGTÁR – literary column. A short story by Széki Soós János about a personality from his native village of Szék (Sic) in Transylvania. It is a sad story of a boy, Báró Pista (Pista Baron), who didn’t know who his father was – though according to village gossip his mother may have gotten pregnant while serving as hired help in the household of a local noble family. When the poverty stricken, hapless Pista unsuccessfully attempts to take on the job of shepherd, we also get inklings of traditions related to this ancient profession.
The life story of Mrs. Lőrincz Aladár – Molnár Vilma. Vilma was born in 1929 in the village of Istensegíts in Bukovina where she finished six years of primary school – four years in Hungarian and two in Romanian. She spoke only German from age 2–6. Vilma and her family left Bukovina and moved to Hungary in 1941. After living in several places, they were finally able to settle in Tolna County. She grew up surrounded by and doing the traditional Bukovinan embroidery and weaving and has earned countless awards and recognition for her fine traditional handwork. As told to Kóka Rozália.
A paper on 17th century tiled recieving rooms in royal residences in Transylvania and Northern Hungary. This study discusses possible Turkish inspiration for these rooms that had walls tiled with ornate colorful ceramic tiles. Based on remnants of tiles found at the royal estates in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia, Romania) and Sárospatak and Regéc, the author tries to trace the origin of the tiles and their patterns. One such tiled room has been reconstructed in Sárospatak. By Pattantyús Orsolya.
For years Henics Tamás has been everywhere between Vienna and Transylvania making friends with and eventually photographing every musician he can find in the dance house movement. One of his favorite themes became the musician dynasties – both the traditional Gypsy musician dynasties (Kodoba, Netti, etc.) and the new musician family dynasties forming in the dance house movement (Porteleki, Éri, Juhász, Csoóri, etc.). Tamás’ photographs of musicians and their sons were on exhibit at the National Dance House Festival in late March 2010, when his book of the same photographs was released. Writer Széki Soós János opened the exhibition.
Duna TV’s Etnoklub. This article comments on the younger generation of folk musicians in Budapest’s dance house movement and the new program on this music on the Hungarian satellite TV station Duna TV. Young bands mentioned are Rekontra and Buda Folk Band compared with the older generation (Sebő, Halmos, Muzsikás) and a middle generation (Csiga, Árendás, Szalonna). Venues mentioned by name are Bír-lak (Budapest 7th district) and the Gödör (at Deák tér, Budapest). The host of the TV show, Katona Erika, is criticised, as are the young musicians – for being a bit too young, too full of themselves and too raw. By Grecsó Krisztián. First published in Élet és Irodalom, LIV./17. 2010 April 30.
The Moldavian Csángós are a Hungarian ethnic group that live in villages around the city of Bákó/Bacău in eastern Romania. Their dance and music is wellknown in Budapest’s dance house movement. These Moldavian Csángó villages were literally closed to outsiders during the Ceauşescu regime. Though these people have been the subject of ongoing attempts to assimilate them into the Romanian culture, amazingly some of them still speak an archaic form of Hungarian and follow the Roman Catholic faith. For 10 years now there has been a concerted eff ort to teach Hungarian to children in these villages. Hegyeli Attila (who studied Hungarian and Ethnography at the University in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Romania) is a person who has been instrumental in organizing this program and getting other teachers to go there to teach. By Halász Csilla. First published in Heti Válasz, Budapest, May 6, 2010.
Two interesting commentaries on the National Dance House Festival and Market held at the Sport Arena in Budapest at the end of March. One is a review of the event from “Dumneazu” ’s blog and the other is Dreisziger Kálmán’s response.
Interview with bagpipe player, researcher, ethnographer Szabó Zoltán. Here Szabó Zoltán talks at length about bagpipes from this part of the world, his music, research work, his newest passion the tárogató, and his recently released record: Tündérek ajándéka II. – Dudaverseny [Fairies’ Gift II. – Bagpipe Contest] Etnofon Records, 2010. By K. Tóth László.
New recording. Tárkány Művek: Arcomba az arcod vésted. Independently produced: TM 2010, Budapest. Hungarian folk based world music. Jazz influenced. Band members: Tárkány-Kovács Bálint cimbalom / leader of the band; Paár Julianna – voice; Kováts Gergő – saxophones, flute; Papp Endre – violas; Bognár András – double bass. See also: tarkanymuvek on myspace and hangveto.hu on the internet.
Dance research in Hungary: A “working committee on Hungarian dance research” was formed in 2009. The committee intends to meet regularly – meetings are to be hosted by the various affiliated universities and institutions and website is in the planning. Report on a symposium on dance research held at the folk dance department of the Hungarian Academy of Dance on June 11–12, 2010, in Budapest. Title of the symposium was: “The Metamorphosis of Traditional Dance Culture”. See reports in Hungarian for names of participating dance researchers /educators. Announcements by Bolvári-Takács Gábor.
Kóka Rozália’s Children’s Column. Two tales for children: one is a story about who gets into heaven, the other is about the fox, the wolf and the cheese.
Traditional singer and dancer Mrs.Holecz István, Kanyó Margit, was born in the village of Rimóc (in the Palóc region of Northern Hungary) on May 4, 1945. She married there and has always lived there. She is a “Master of Folk Arts” – a national recognition of her natural talent as traditional singer and dancer. She has been performing with the Rimóc women’s chorus singing the local folk songs since 1970, has actively collected songs in her village and leads the local tradition preserving dance group there. Here she tells the story of her childhood, growing up in the traditional culture of her village and about how she always loved to sing and dance. As told to Kóka Rozália.
Announcement: National Conference on Folk Tales. To be held on October 1, 2010 at the Hamvas Béla Library in Százhalombatta. Special theme: Croatian folk tales from the Drava region. “We are looking for answers to these questions: Why does traditional story telling have a special power and role today? Can story telling be taught?” Organized by the Hungarian Readers Association.
Report on the 10th Koprivstica festival in Bulgaria. This festival is held every five years. Traditional dance groups from all over Bulgaria arrive to the mountain village of Koprivstica for this three day juried festival. There are seven stages with performances going on simultaneously from morning till night by groups performing authentic dances and music of their own villages and regions of Bulgaria. Report by Nagy Timea.
Conversation with Novák Ferenc “Tata”. The interview begins with Tata’s statement: “Folk dance had an official role in the time of the party-state (under communism): to represent the optimism of the Hungarian workers. But in the meantime socialism foot the bill to bring up a generation that brought folk dance to a contemporary artform.” Tata is brilliant and articulate and has the perspective of at least 60 years working with Hungarian folkdance. Includes abbreviated biographical information and list of works. By Szentei Anna. First published in Magyar Demokrata 2010/24.
The Muharay Folkarts Association (Muharay Népművészeti Szövetség) celebrated its 20th anniversary. This is an organization devoted to preserving and upholding local tradition in Hungary. In practice one of the main functions of the association is nurturing the “local tradition preserving dance groups” (hagyományőrző együttesek) from villages across the nation – each group presents dances and traditions from their particular location: these are groups of people of all ages. There are 159 member communities and 51 individual members. Every year the association organizes, amongst other events (forums, conferences, trainings), at least one showcase performance in Budapest with many of these groups performing their local traditions. This organization has carried on the work and function of the Pearly Bouquet (Gyöngyösbokréta) movement from the period between the two world wars. The performance in spring of 2010, for example, featured an amzing number of different groups from Hungary’s Kalocsa Region. President of association is Héra Éva. Report by Antal László.
Conversation with Richter Pál – head of Liszt Academy of Music’s Folk Music Department. Discussion of the program as the first class of students completed the three year course. One of the questions was: “A basic position of the department is that folk music is a valuable artistic language. Can it remain as such even though it has been taken out of its original medium and put into another sociocultural environment?”. Also includes information on the program; for example ”... they learn how to look for the sources and how to make use of the original recordings...” Interview by Zipernovszky Kornél (fidelio.hu).
Where have all the dancers gone? Commentary, criticism and complaints on the present status of Hungary’s dance house movement, the professional folk dance groups, the choreography, the revival bands. His parting comment however brings us back to the music from the Transylvanian village of Magyarpalatka (Palatca) which over the years has certainly moved many to participate in this movement. By Grecsó Krisztián. First published in Élet és Irodalom LIV /27.
New recording: Lili dalai (Lili’s tunes). Mohácsy Albert and friends (the “Magyar Vista Social Club”), FECD 050 – FolkEurópa Kft. Budapest. 2010. Distributed by Hangvető. A blend of original verse, folk songs, folk music and other contemporary music styles. “One you’ll find yourself listening to over and over again”. Review and recommendation by Sándor Ildikó.
New Publication: Hála, József – G. Szabó, Zoltán: Dudásoknak, kanászoknak közzibül, közzibül... Timp Kiadó, Budapest. To be released in 2010. Written in celebration of the 100th anniversary of a swineherder’s music contest in Ipolyság (Šahy) in Slovakia where Bartók Béla made phonograph recordings of the bagpipers. A book on bagpipes and bagpipers of the Carpathian Basin with special emphasis on the bagpipe of the Palóc region.
New Publication: [Tradition and Modernism in Folk Dance Research. In Memory of Pesovár Ernő] Editors: Felföldi, László; Müller, Anita. Hungarian Institute of Musicology (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) 2010. Budapest. ISBN: 9789638845146. This is a collection of writings on contemporary Hungarian dance research, 20 of which were papers presented at a conference in 2006 in Pápa, Hungary celebrating the late Pesovár Ernő’s 80th birthday. Report by Felföldi László.
New series in folkMAGazin: Thoughts and writings from the past. Bartók Béla on folksongs and nationalism: Bartók discusses influences of neighboring ethnic groups on folk music, folk music research and nationalism. Though these words were published more than 70 years ago, the thoughts are completely applicable today. Also printed here is an announcement for the release of the first records of the original Pátria series. The record series made original recordings of folk songs sung by traditional Hungarian singers – available to the wider public. By Polgár Tibor. Both were first published in a Hungarian journal called Tükör [Mirror]. V.3. 1937.
New Publication: Az ugrós táncok zenéje [Music of Ugrós Dances]. Paksa, Katalin. L’Harmattan Kiadó. Budapest, 2010. Includes CD. The first of a 3 book series on the ugrós (a.k.a. jumping or leaping) dance type and its music. The publication includes English translation of the preface. Announcement by Felföldi László.
Kóka Rozália’s children’s series. Two folk tales: One about a blacksmith and the devil; the other is a story about a jar of honey high up on a shelf that the children were not supposed to touch...
Kóka Rozália’s series on women’s life stories – Painter H. Molnár Magda (b. 1935) tells her story. This is another story of amazing human stamina and spirit – living through 2nd World War, poverty, hunger and illness, but coming out on the other end with one driving desire: to paint. When Magda was finally able to paint (just before retirement) – she was quickly discovered and has since exhibited internationally.
Living Folk Art – 15th National Exhibition of Contemporary Hungarian Folk Art, Museum of Ethnography, Budapest. October 29, 2010 – March 27, 2011. This collection of the best contemporary traditional Hungarian folk arts and crafts has been carefully juried by a panel of 28 expert ethnographers and folk artists: 1700 works by 450 folk artists. The exhibition was organized and sponsored by the Hungarian Heritage House and the Museum of Ethnography. Announcement by Beszprémy Katalin and Csupor István.
Part two: On the culture and customs of India’s Rajasthani musicians. Ábrahám Judit’s photos and impressions of her trip to India in 2009–2010.
Report on the 4th Tárogató World Congress. Held every five years, the event was held in 2010 from June 30 – July 4 in the town of Vaja in northeastern Hungary. 160 tárogató players, mainly from Hungary and Transylvania, arrived for the event. About 20 of the participants were foreigners (from USA and other parts of Europe). After the congress, some of the musicians participated in a one week concert tour in Hungary. Hungarian national and regional tárogató congresses are held every year. Musical genres mentioned were folk music, “national romantic music” and contemporary classical music. By Barvich Iván. See also www.tarogatocenter.hu.
The situation in Mezőség (a.k.a. Transylvanian Plain; in Romanian Câmpia Transilvaniei). Poet and writer Széki Soós János (born and raised in Szék) paints a picture of the dwindling Hungarian population in the villages in Mezőség in general and the dissipation of folk tradition – also providing some poignant historical and political background. He describes summer folk dance and music camps held in Szépkenyerűszentmárton (Sânmărtin), Buza and Szék (Sic) and the communities in each of these villages.
Traditional clarinetist Csillag József “Pala” is from the village of Kürt (Strekov) in southern Slovakia (a bit northeast Komárom). He was born in 1944 in Kürt into a Gypsy musician family. This study has information on his family and on the various bands he played in over the years. He has played traditional music all over the region and worked playing music in Vienna and also in eastern Germany for a longer period around 1990. He holds a professional musician’s certificate and is still active. By Terék József.
Excerpts from a study of a traditional man dancer from Hungary’s Sárköz region. Here six informants from the region (all born between 1927 and 1938) comment on the dancing of traditional dancer Fülöp Ferenc of Decs (1885–1962) – a recipient of the national title of “Master Folk Dancer”. The study was done in relation to a dilpoma project by Taba Csaba.
Transylvania’s Barozda Ensemble founding member Pávai István recalls the mid-1970s in Transylvania when Barozda was formed in the town of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) by young Transylvanian musicians and music students. They played Transylvanian village music and held some of the first dance houses of the Transylvanian village music and dance revival movement. In the meantime the band also played 17th century music. For a time they had support from Romanian TV and radio. By the 1980s however the band members were beginning to be harassed by the Romanian authorities because of their concerts of that included religious music and contacts with Hungary and Radio Free Europe. As a consequence most of the band members left Transylvania and went to live in Sweden. Now more than 35 years later the band gets together from time to time to play concerts in Transylvania; the most recent of which were two concerts during a music festival held in Csíkszereda earlier this year. As told to K. Tóth László.
Új Pátria Record Series + four new books on folk music. Hungarian Heritage House announces the release of 50 new CDs of original village music collected during the Final Hour Project. Official press conference is to be held at 11 a.m. on December 6th, 2010 at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. Publication of the 50 new CDs and four books on folk music has been made possible with support from EU and Norwegian Grants programs, Hungarian Heritage House, the Fonó Music Hall and the Hungarian Ministry of Culture.
Concert: Pannon Dalok (Pannonian Songs) – Rost Andrea. Rost Andrea is a Hungarian opera singer of international reknown; however at a concert on October 17th held at the Dohány utca synagogue in Budapest she sang a program of folk songs. Well-known folk musicians Szokolay Dongó Balázs and Bolya Mátyás along with Jávori Ferenc (of the Budapest Klezmer Band) and folk singer Bognár Szilvia joined Ms. Rost for a program of Hungarian, Gypsy, Romanian and Jewish songs of this region. Public previews of this concert were held in the spring of 2010 in the towns of Pécs and Kecskemét. Review by musicologist Németh G. István.
Transylvania’s Hargita Székely Folk Dance Ensemble, from the town of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) in Romania, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a series of performances on Dec.16th, 17th, 18th in Csíkszereda and release of a publication on the ensemble. Printed here are interviews and commentary by founding director Szalay Zoltán and the current ensemble director András Mihály. By Mihály Réka.
Kóka Rozália’s children’s column: two Christmas stories. One about Saint Nicholas (who arrives in Hungary on December 6th) and the other about the joy of decorating the Christmas tree during hard times right after the war.
Kóka Rozália’s series: Stories of Hungarian Women. Part one of the life story of Sister Csillag Etelka (born 1930) who grew up on a farm near Szeged in southeastern Hungary. Etelka decided as a teenager that she wanted to devote her life to God. Her family consented and she was accepted into a group of Catholic nuns. When she was still a novice the political situation (after 2nd World War) had become so unfavorable for religious organizations that she could only continue very discretely or in secret, and for several years had to work as a servant and nanny for countryside families. By the end of 1956 Sister Etelka ended up in the village of Mucsfa in Hungary’s Tolna County working with Bukovina Székely immigrants...
Erdélyi Tibor – Folk Artist. Upon release of a book on his folk sculptures, photographs of this folk artist’s work are printed in this issue of folkMAGazin. Erdélyi Tibor was born in 1932 in the town of Csenger in northeastern Hungary. He grew up amidst the rural traditional culture of the region. In 1948 he went to Budapest, got his secondary school diploma and finished an apprenticeship in carpentry and restoration at the Hungarian Museum of Crafts and Industrial Arts. In 1952 he was chosen by Rábai Miklós to join the first corps of dancers in the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble and soon became a soloist. Since then he has amassed a list of state and national awards and recognition for his dancing, choreography, the folk ensembles he has directed and for his folk sculpture and wood carving. He is still active today.
Happy 80th Birthday Timár Sándor! On October 4th there was a gala performance at Budapest’s Palace of the Arts celebrating Timár’s work and birthday. His teaching methods, choreographies, collection work and the dance ensembles he has directed – have all been central to the last 40 years of Hungarian folk dance. So far, his dancing career has lasted over 60 years. His enthusiasm for Hungarian folk dance and teaching has inspired many, many dancers in Hungary and abroad. Speech by Timár Mihály.
Vikár Béla the Folklorist – Part 6. Excerpts from an exhibition of photographs and documents – curated by Pávai István. In the 1890s Vikár (1859–1945) was commissioned by the [Hungarian] Ethnographic Society and Museum of Ethnography to do collection work. He collected folk songs and ballads from the point of view of a folklorist who had had music training. Writings printed here comment on collecting in Transylvania’s Maros (Mureş) River region, Hungary’s Békés County and the Zobor Region (today in Slovakia).
Conversation with Lelkes András, co-owner of FolkEuropa Kft., as this Hungarian record label celebrates 10 years in business. András and co-owner Liber Endre are both folk musicians (members the Tükrös Band). Over the last 10 years FolkEuropa has released more than 50 CDs presenting Hungarian dance house music, original archival or field recordings of traditional music, and Hungarian world music based on traditional music. As musicians and now with 10 years of experience producing CDs, they know the local market and what musicians want and need when they put out a record. Interview by K. Tóth László.
New column: Writings From the Past. The making of a city folk song – nóta. A discussion and thoughts on what happens to a folk song from the countryside on its way to becoming a city folk song: how and why the text and tune may change. By Tömörkény István from Pesti Hírlap. July 24, 1902.