English Table of Contents 2011/3
Dreisziger Kálmán criticizes the Csík Band’s widely popular fusion of Hungarian rock/pop and folk music as a „sellout”, cop-out and capitalistic money-hungry venture. Dreisziger would prefer that the band stick with the pure authentic folk style – urging them „not to make deals with the enemy”. The article also offers information on marketing practices of large western record labels.
Eulogy for Karsai Zsigmond 1920-2011
Given by Felföldi László at the funeral on March 26, 2011
Karsai Zsigmond, who was born in Transylvania and came to Hungary in the early 1940s, was a folk artist with extraordinary talent. The dances, songs, music and memories of the folk culture he brought with him from his native village of Lőrincréve have been well documented and became well-known largely because of his generosity and charismatic personality. He was also an acclaimed painter. In Karsai’s words: „We have been given this life as a gift....We know and like what is good, and respect those people whose lives are a show of that.”
World Music From Hungary
A description of the WOMEX World Music Expo trade fairs held yearly, Hungary’s participation in the past and hopes for this year’s WOMEX to be held in Copenhagan, Denmark. Hungary’s Hangvető folk/world music distributor partnered with Budapest’s Palace of the Arts hopes to win a competition to be able to present Hungary at the opening gala of WOMEX this year. Hungary’s gala would present their foremost folk and world music artists. Report by Tóth Melinda of Hangvető. [Hungary did indeed open WOMEX with their gala on Oct. 26 in Copenhagen S.F.]
Open letter to Diószegi László
This letter responds to Diószegi’s article on Hungary’s system of jurying and rating the performances of amateur folk dance groups (in 2011/1 folkMAGazin). Apparantly Diószegi intimated that juries of the past could be persuaded to give an ensemble a high ranking if the ensemble showed particular hospitality to the jury at the time of the juried performance. This author objects to this remark at length, listing groups that recieved highest rankings from juries of the past that could not possibly have been persuaded in such manner. By Szigetvári József.
1992 conversation with Kallós Zoltán
Kallós has been a key figure in the dance house movement from the beginning. He is from, and still lives in, Transylvania and has collected folk art, songs and music all his life. He has published books and released recordings from his collections and established organizations to house his collections and foster preservation of local tradition. He is also a traditional singer. Born in 1926, this year Kallós Zoltán celebrates his 85th birthday.
Here Kallós answers questions on: the status of the dance house movement; dance houses forbidden in Kolozsvár before the 1989 revolution; whether the dance house movement has larger meaning in Transylvania or not; his native Mezőség region and traditional bands there. Includes biographical information from Kallos.org.ro website.
By K. Tóth László.
Choreographer Novák Ferenc „Tata” is 80 years old. Novák is a key figure in the Hungarian folk dance world, he was artistic director of the Honvéd Dance Theatre for many, many years; the Bihari Ensemble and a long line of grandiose folk dance and music spectacles are connected to his name. At his 80th birthday party at Budapest’s Vígszínház on March 28th, 2011, Hungary’s President awarded him the Hungarian Golden Cross. In this tribute, a longtime friend and colleague commends his avid support of the Hungarian dance ensembles in Slovakia over the years. By Takács András.
Concert on Palm Sunday (2011) in the city of Pécs by the Muzsikás Ensemble with Petrás Mária, Farkas Zoltán and Tóth Ildikó. Muzsikás pleases audiences in the world’s most prestigous concert halls and clearly they please audiences in Hungary as well. This review aptly describes the kind of unforgettable music and dance moments that draw a person back to their concerts time and again. By Szávai József.
Review of the Szőttes Chamber Ensemble’s new program recently performed in their hometown of Bratislava (aka: Pozsony) at the „Nová Scéna” Theatre in the spring of 2011. The program of dances included authentic style material from Hungarian communities in Slovakia and Transylvania, performed by Szőttes dancers, with participation of the junior Szőttes group, Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér, Németh Ildikó, Szabó Szilárd, Végső Miklós and poetry recited by actor Gál Tamás. The entire program is commended as well as the accompanying band. By Takács András – ethnographer.
Kóka Rozália’s children’s column:
The tale of how shepherd Juhász Andris became an outlaw. It all started when Andris knew he should stay awake all night and watch his flock, but he was so tired from the previous days work, that he fell asleep. When he awoke his flock was gone. He found that they had eaten themselves to death in an alfalfa field. Because of this he was too severely punished by the estate lord’s manager and was forced into the life of an outlaw. Andris felt as if the manager had killed him. Finally, rather then killing the manager when he had a chance, he only robbed him and then split the money amongst his outlaw friends. See end of tale in Hungarian for source information.
Magtár – the literary column
A poem by Ferenczes István: [With the wonders of the dance house fluttering behind it...]
Born Ferencz Salamon István in Csíkpálfalva (Transylvania) in 1945 – this writer is one of Transylvania’s leading literary figures and is founder and editor of the cultural journal Székelyföld. The poem printed here was first published in a volume entitled „Megőszülsz mint a fenyvesek” by Kriterion Press in 1986.
Kóka Rozália’s series of stories of women’s lives.
Part II – painter Katharina Clemente’s life story
Katharina takes us through the events of her first marriage, describing the squalor of life in Budapest before she, her husband and two children defected to Austria. The family went back and forth between Austria and Canada several times (during which time she had a third child) before they finally divorced. She mentions selling her work in Canada to get money to go back to Austria. Katharina preferred Austria, supporting herself and her children as a mathematics tutor. Later on she married again and had two more children. Now she is married to an Austrian and enjoys success in showing and selling her work and describes her life as a happy one.
Henics Tamás’ photographs and description of a small adobe, thatched roofed stable in the village of Visa in the Mezőség region of Transylvania. It had been built in the 1870s by a Romanian family named Albon. The final owner of the stable, Albon Valer, died in 2009. Tamás photographed the stable and its owner between 1999 and 2009. By 2010 the stable had disappeared from the surface of the earth...
A theoretical-philosophical-intellectual exercise examining the usage of folk music in Hungary – particularly in the dance house movement. Words of the great master Bartók Béla are used as the point of departure. The writing is organized under the following headings: (dance house) history; subjective axioms; stage craft – community culture; original – arranged; clichéd – artistic(original); personal – general; the folksong as the basic form for every arrangement. The Nox band’s use of folk material is critcized. Parting advice: „...take a deep breath and reach back once again to our roots and our master, Béla Bartók...” By Kelemen László (director – Hungarian Heritage House, director – Final Hour village folk music collection project, musician, composer, record producer).
Published by Juhos Kiss Sándor – written by Kocsis Rózsi (1986):
Fire! in Szék
True stories – recollections from the „old times” (sometime before 1986) – when fires broke out in this Transylvanian village: fires that tragically destroyed the wheat harvest and people’s homes. Family members or farm animals also perished when such fires broke out.
Embers and soot
This is a story told – for the most part - by Széki Soós János’ mother. A story about the old ways in the Transylvanian village of Szék – how it was in the dance houses, how they worked in the fields and what they took with them for lunch, how they processed the flax to make the linen they wove with, how they made the bread, and how they knew if the outdoor oven was the right temperature. These are the kinds of things most of us don’t know today – there is a whole special vocabulary that belongs to each process – a vocabulary disappearing in today’s society. By Széki Soós János.
This article provides historical information about the culinary habits of the average Hungarian in the first half of the 20th century, then goes on to give some recipes for spring dishes using greens that can be found growing wild in Hungary. By Báti Anikó.
Széki Soós János’ column
An account of young girls going to the salt bathes on a summer night. Written by Kocsis Rózsi who was born into a peasant family in Szék in 1932 (she died 1999). Despite the fact that she had only a 4th grade education, she began writing about her life in her old age (from: Igaz Szó Évkönyve – Marosvásárhely, [Romania] 1984).
Report on the March 13th performance of tradition preserving ensembles at the Új Színház in Budapest. At this yearly event, the Muharay Association presents groups from villages that perform simple stagings of their local folk traditions. The first half of the 2011 program was entitled „In the church – in memory of our grandparents”, the second half was dedicated to folk traditions of Carnival through Easter and Pentecost. In all, groups from nine different villages performed. This is a wonderful opportunity for people who live in the city and wouldn’t otherwise have access – to folk traditions and dances from the countryside. By Antal László.
The Kaláka Festival is held every year on the second weekend of July. This year was the 32nd Kaláka Festival. The festival presents folk groups from all over Hungary and a host of related activities. Unfortunately this year’s festival shall be the last one held in the dramatic location of the castle ruins at Diósgyőr (outside the city of Miskolc), due to planned restoration work on the castle. Go to www.kalakafesztival.hu for new location and news on the 2012 festival. By K. Tóth László.
Wedding in Rajasthan
Musician Barkat Khan describes the main events, process and musician’s role during the traditional three day wedding. Musician Rehmat Khan Langa (from Barnawa, Rajasthan, now lives in Delhi) also gives a description of his life and music. A short description of the main instrument of the Rajasthan langa musicians – the sarangi – is also included. Photos and text by Ábrahám Judit.
Page 44 Sue Foy
Folk dance research in Dévaványa today
This is the story of how a folk dancer from a neighboring village became interested in researching the traditional dances of Dévaványa – a small town in eastern Hungary (population approximately 8000). Thanks mainly to the work of ethnographer dr. Bereczki Imre (1912-1997) from Dévaványa and the museum there that houses his collections, the author of this article has been able to continue researching the dances of this village – though information from the archives of the National Institute of Musicology has also proved helpful. Reprinted here is also an article written by Berecki that appeared in Kis Újság on April 28th, 1949 – an account of the local verbunk. By Mahovics Tamás.