Bereczky Jnos

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# Cím Abstract Folyóirat Oldalszám
„…hogy keressk nemzetnk sajt hangjt” : Kodly els kt gyjttja s a Nyri este abs.
“…Seeking the National Tone of Our Own”
Jnos Bereczky

Kodly’s first two journeys of collecting folk songs
and the orchestral phantasy Nyri este (Summer Evening)


The turn of the 19th and 20th century was a period of seeking and waiting in Hungarian musical life. Everybody talked about the necessity of the creation or recreation of Hungarian music. “But where to take the stimulation and draw the inspiration from?” Kodly asked.
In August 1905 and in August 1906 he made his first two journeys in order to collect genuine folk songs in the villages of the area of his childhood. During these journeys he collected and notated 222 melodies.
He composed Nyri este (Summer Evening), his early orchestral work in August, September and October 1906. The composition is obviously strongly influenced by folk music, but there is a great query. The original version of 1906 exists only in the form of a manuscript which has been lost. The printed score of Nyri este is the revised edition of 1929 made by the composer of mature age. Is it possible that the recent and in fact very preliminary experience of Kodly’s first contact with folk song has influenced the musical expression of Nyri este as radically as the version of 1929 proves?
The author has found a copy of the original manuscript in the archive of the National Library of Hungary. So, for the first time, it is possible to study the problem which has occupied researchers’ minds throughout the past century: to what extent folk music has influenced the original music of Nyri este and to what extent are the influences revisions to the published score?
The author compares the themes and motives of Nyri este’s original version to the collection of 222 folk songs of the first two journeys. Many melodic details prove indisputably how even in 1906 Kodly could make use of musical idioms and phrases of the relatively small material with which he recently became acquainted for the “creation or re-creation of Hungarian music”. Especially the frequent usage of the pentatonic passages is striking.
The long-desired new and authentic Hungarian tone was born in Nyri este at a stroke. Despite the genius of Kodly as a composer this new tone was influenced as much by the peasant music of Hungary, so it was really a “national tone of our own”.
2001., 39. évf. 2. szám 129. - 150.o