English Table of Contents 2011/5
Téka Ensemble celebrates 35 years
Conversation with founding member of the band, Lányi György. „...thirty-five years seems like a short time when I think back over the all the experiences, learning, adventures, tours and amazing people we’ve met...how rich its been...”. Over the years Téka has hosted wildly popular dance houses, camps and workshops. They have been dedicated to passing on their knowledge to younger generations. There was a concert and party at the Fonó in Budapest on October 22nd, 2011 in celebration of Téka’s 35th. Téka today: Havasréti Pál (double bass), Lányi György (viola, bagpipe), Ökrös Csaba (violin), Soós András (violin) and Tárnoki Beatrix (voice). By Török Ferenc.
Lőrincz János (1916-2011) was born and lived most of his life in the village of Szépkenyerűszentmárton [Sânmartin] in Transylvania’s northern Mezőség region. „He knew the traditional dances of [his home region] – his favorites were the fast tempoed men’s dances which he danced with the energy of a young person.” He was over 70 years old when the dance researchers discovered him; he received the title „Master of FolkArts” at the age of 90. For the most part amateur video recordings were made of his dancing. Includes list of documentation on him that can be found in the archives of the Hungarian Insititute of Musicology. By Misi Gábor.
Beliefs and Customs of Spain – Part II.
Courting customs. A listing of various ways in which young men began courting or asked her parent’s permission to court a young woman in traditional society in various locations in Spain. Since these are related in the past tense, it is probably safe to assume that these are not the practices today. In one case it is specified that a custom was practiced before 1936. By Valter Linda.
Kóka Rozália’s children’s column
One about a village that had a very stupid judge and stupid villagers that followed his orders. If the judge hadn’t died, the villagers would still be just as stupid.
The other tale is about Lazy Jankó – a very, very lazy boy who had something to eat as long as his parents were alive. After they died he still refused to go to work. Getting hungry, he decided it was time to steal. He stole a chicken, a goose, a clock, a wheelbarrow and when he was in the midst of stealing a pig, he got scared about getting caught. He started running away and he’s still running.
Collected by folklorist Nagy Zoltán, from his book „Az ikertünderek” Akadémiai Press. Budapest, 1990.
Special exhibition on Transylvanian churches at the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography in Budapest. Photographs, watercolors and pen and ink drawings documenting the wooden churches of the Kalotaszeg, Mezőség and Szilágyság region, the so-called „castle churches” of Székelyföld and the fortress churches in the Saxon area of southern Transylvania. The exhibition is open until March 18, 2012. Report by Tasnádi Zsuzsanna.
Széki Soós János’ beautiful descriptions of Szék [Sic]– its landscape, working in the surrounding fields, on leaving Szék in hopes of a better life, those who have returned to spend the rest of their lives there and on the kind of social rules that made its close knit community.
The other writing is a poem about setting out on foot from the castle ruins in Bonchida [Bonțida] over the hills „toward the black and red of Szék – the blood and mourning – woven into fiddle strings and melodies of Szék...”. By Kovács István (reprinted from Székelyföld 2011 August issue).
Kóka Rozália’s series on women’s life stories
Part II. Szőnyi Zsuzsa’s life story
In this section of the story we hear about how Zsuzsa and her husband got across the border into Austria in 1949 and why they ended up in Italy. Her husband, the artist, Triznya Mátyás had the good fortune to get work right away on the set of Vittorio De Sica’s film „Miracle in Milan” and then continued working in the film industry. Zsuzsa worked for Italian Radio for 40 years, retired, then worked 7 more years at Vatican Radio. Her mother and father were finally able to visit them not long before her father passed away in 1960. To be continued.
The Kallós Foundation Museum in Válaszút [Răscruci], Romania.
Kallós Ethnographic Museum opened its doors in 1998 in the building that had been the Kallós family home, in Kallós’ home village. In 2011 photographer Korniss Péter took photographs of the newly refreshed exhibition from Kallós’ collections and now a book on the exhibition including Korniss’ photos has been released. Ethnographer Andrásfalvy Bertalan’s introduction from the book is printed here with some of Korniss’ photographs.
Part II: Traditional folk music’s role in Hungarian contemporary music. „What works and what can be tossed”. Discussion of various projects (and advertising campaigns) embarked upon of late by Hungarian star folk musicians/singers who have branched out into other genres of music: mentioned here are singers Szalóki Ági, Palya Bea, Herczku Ági and the Csík Band and many others. Also described is a sample CD that Songlines Magazine produced for its March 2011 issue – a selection of world music by various Hungarian musicians. 25,000 copies of the sample CD were released and are being distributed in 70 countries. A nice summary of the present status of folk and world music in Hungary, makes note that the cymbalom is back in style and that perhaps live restaurant Gypsy music is making a come-back. By Kiss Ferenc.
Listing of folk dance performances between November 19th and December 31st at two Budapest venues: Palace of the Arts and the National Dance Theatre.
Food and Tradition – Corn in Hungarian cusine
Corn came to Europe – and the Hungarian language region – from America. It began to be used in Hungarian kitchens from the beginning of the 17th century. Hungarians, especially in Transylvania, have been known to cook it and serve it similar to the northern Italian polenta. It is often found in recipes for foods eaten when meat isn’t being served during certain religious fasting periods. Traditional corn recipes included here: Moldavian corn soup, cabbage stuffed with polenta and pumpkin seeds, Moldavian corn cake, Szilágyság style cabbage stuffed with polenta. By Juhász Katalin.
Report on a concert of folk choruses from the Budapest region. The concert was judged by a jury and the best choruses were given awards. The writer questions the choice of material given the average age of the people in the choirs: most of whom are senoir citizens. Quite often the songs depict thoughts of youth during the time of choosing a mate, courtship, love. By Trencsényi László.
Sebestyén Márta’s concert in Pécs, October 24, 2011.
A concert in memory of Franz Liszt. Márta performed with Gombai Tamás (violin), Havasréti Pál (double bass), Balogh Kálmán (cymbalom), Andrajszki Judit (voice, cemballo) and Company Canario Dance Ensemble. Report by Szávai József.
List of folk artists that were given the title of „Master of Folk Arts” in 2011. This title is state-level recognition for traditional singers, dancers, story tellers, instrument makers and other folk artists.
Hungarian Heartbeats – was the name of the opening gala concert at the WOMEX world music trade fair in Copenhagen on October 26, 2011. Conversation with Liber Endre one of the managing directors of Hangvető (the Hungarian folk and world music distributor) and a producer of the gala. „...It’s a great thing to have the chance to do the opening gala, because amongst all the WOMEX participants, the entire Hungarian folk and world music palette gets the spotlight and then the whole WOMEX is sort of about Hungary...” By Strack Orsolya.
Two writings from 1970 on Bartók:
Bartók’s path: A look at the genius of Bartók’s work twenty-five years after his death. By Vermesy Péter.
To Say Bartók: preparations for an evening of Bartók – an attempt to create a picture of Bartók and to conjure up the depth of his personality, work and artistry – by reciting him, quoting him and quoting others on him. By Banner Zoltán.
Slovak Folk Songs – publication of Bartók’s manuscripts on his collection of Slovak folk songs. This publication has become a several decade long project. This article gives us some history on Slovak – Hungarian relations, Bartók’s Slovak folk song collection, the manuscript and the project of getting it published. Edited by: Käfer István, Sztakovics Erika. Germanus Press, Szeged, Hungary 2011. Article by Käfer István.
Beliefs and Superstitions in Szék (Sic)
From the writings of Kocsis Rózsi – published by Juhos Kiss Sándor, Juhos-Kiss János. Kocsis Rózsi (born: Szék 1932/died 1999) began writing down memories of her life in her old age.
A story about a salve made by an old Romanian healer/sorceress woman that could make a selected person grow tired of someone else’s company.
Another tale about a certain piece of church drapery that had such bad luck that none of the ladies in the village would take on the job of mending it.
Page 40 Sue Foy
The Rákóczi March is one of Hungary’s most well-known tunes. Liszt, Erkel and Berlioz all did arrangements of this tune which originates from the Rákóczi song that has been found in 17th century codexes. The written music for Berlioz’ version is part of a special exhibit at the Music Collection rooms of the Széchényi National Library until December 22nd, 2011. Article by Mikusi Balázs.