Mikusi Balázs

(14 találat)
# Cím Abstract Folyóirat Oldalszám
"A Teremtés ellenpárja" : Joseph Haydn Az utolsó ítéletének szövegkönyve - 2014., 52. évf. 3. szám 242. - 267.o
"Charakteristische Musik unterscheidet sich von der malerischen..." : avagy volt-e Schumann-nak "dán stílusa"? abs.
"Characteristic Music Differs from the Picturesque"
Or Did Schumann have a "Danish" manner?
Balázs Mikusi

Schumann's larger-scale exotic works have often been criticized for their but faint couleur locale. In this paper I seek to reconsider this problem by using the composer's four Andersen settings (in the song cycle op. 40) as starting point. I argue that these exemplify an "Andersenian," rather than a "Danish," manner: the inspiration was primarily literary, not geographical, in nature. Expanding on this, I propose that musicologists' quest for conspicuously exotic features may have been based on a misunderstanding: if the larger-scale, cyclic works seem to be lacking in the "surface exoticism" that smaller-scale compositions amply exhibit, they should probably be understood as aiming at something else. The different function of these works apparently confirms such a distinction: the small-scale group typically includes "snapshots" with a distinct pedagogical hint (cf. Schumann's own term: Guckkastenbilder für Kinder), while in the larger-scale compositions the exotic associations are used in an allegorical sense (the two Spanish song cycles move the plot itself to the level allegory, and the musical style of the Bilder aus Osten seeks to recapture the oriental way of thought).
In conclusion, I return to the "Danish" works, and point out a yet unrecognized secret program in the "Volksliedschen" of the Album für die Jugend. Similarly to the "Nordisches Lied" (which uses the motive GADE), this piece is arguably also an homage to Niels Gade: the main motive, ADE, both refers to his name, and says farewell (Ade!) to him, after he returned to Copenhagen for good in 1848.
2007., 45. évf. 4. szám 381. - 395.o
"Was für Redner sind wir nicht" : Haydn és a retorika - 2012., 50. évf. 2. szám 143. - 157.o
„Sokat olvastam, sokat írtam Beethovenrõl…” : Molnár Antal Beethoven-képei abs.
»I have Read and Written a Lot about Beethoven«
Antal Molnár’s Beethoven Images
Balázs Mikusi

This essay is an hommage à Antal Molnár, one of the founders of Hungarian music aesthetics, on the 20th anniversary of his death.
As many other musicians of his generation, Molnár too felt that “it is Beethoven, whom later ages will mention as the most characteristic representative of today’s European culture.” Accordingly, he returned to the German master’s music again and again, in search of “the key that opens the Beethovenian lock”. In his 1917 book, Beethoven, he enthusiastically emphasized the Christian and German elements in the composer’s personality – both for clearly autobiographical reasons, undoubtedly projecting his own desires and personal preferences into the music. The 1927 commemorative article, Beethoven in the Light of Musicology, is much more scholarly, indeed (rejecting the Romantic exaggerations and exalted overall tone of the book); while in Beethoven, the Artist of Form (a paper inspired by the 1929 Hungarian publication of Romain Rolland’s Beethoven monograph) Molnár argues that – notwithstanding all Rolland’s brilliant “psychologising” – an artist’s life cannot give any real clue to his works. Following a thirty-year-long break, Betthoven through Today’s Eyes (1961; originally a chapter of a five-volume history of music) strongly emphasizes the fallibility of musicologists’ interpretations (for “the worthy estimation is almost as rare as the genious itself”), and this suspicion reaches its peak in Beethoven’s Future (probably written on the occasion of the 1970 Beethoven bicentennial), where Molnár suggests that if someone could truly understand the Master at last, all the previous analyses and books, “the huge sheaf of papers should be handed in to the paper-factory for recycling.” Thus these Beethoven writings reflect in nuce the important shift in Molnár’s thinking during his whole life – from enthusiastic Romanticism to ironic scepticism.
2003., 41. évf. 4. szám 377. - 390.o
A pók és a méh avagy Hogyan kerül Mozart Haydn Évszakokjába? abs.
The Spider and the Bee
How Did Mozart Get into Haydn’s Seasons?
Balázs Mikusi

The famous doh-ray-fah-me motive, generally considered to be a kind of „calling card“ of Mozart, appears is the Freudenlied (No.8) of Haydn’s Seasons at a very special moment-when the composer is portraying the bees. In this paper I propose that this apparent “coincidence” could well be intentional and meaningful.
Quotations from contemporary writings document that the finale of Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony attracted special attention already in the 1790s. Consequently, such a conspicuous reference to its opening motive could be able to call this movement (and through that, naturally, Mozart himself) to one’s mind. On the other hand, an overview of the possible meanings attached to bees in 17th- and 18th-century iconography (based on Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia, 1593) suggests that Haydn might have thought of bees primarily as thieves-Lorenzo da Ponte’s pasticcio, L’ Ape Musicale (“The Musical Bee”, 1789), with which most probably both Mozart and Haydn were familiar, also refers to the bee in this sense. To connect these recognitions, we may assume that Haydn considered Mozart’s use of a mixed fugal/sonata form in the finale of the “Jupiter” as a “borrowing” of his own idea from the finale of Symphony No.13 (1763) which was a well-known enough work to let us suspect Mozart’s having heard it at some stage.
This association of Mozart with the bee may be augmented to a general characterization of his creative work: the bee gathers “raw material” from several sources (“flowers”), but produces its own, unmistakably personal “honey” of it. (This interpretation of the bee’s creative type is taken from Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum, which-contrary to most other authors-allots mere gathering without impersonation to the ant.) Bacon’s third creative type is that of the spider’s, which creates totally on its own without using foreign material-this is evidently Haydn’s way, who “had to become original” in his isolation at Eszterháza.
2002., 40. évf. 1. szám 59. - 71.o
Bartók és Scarlatti : oknyomozás és hatástanulmány abs.
Bartók and Scarlatti
A study of motives and influence
Balázs Mikusi

The long-held notion that Bartók’s style presents a unique synthesis of features derived from folk music, from the works of his best contemporaries as well as from the great classical masters has resulted in a certain asymmetry in Bartók studies. This article provides a short overview of the debate concerning the “Bartókian synthesis”, and presents a case study to illuminate how an ostensibly “lesser” historical figure like Domenico Scarlatti could have proved important for Bartók in several respects. I suggest that it must almost certainly have been Sándor Kovács who called Scarlatti’s music to Bartók’s attention around 1910, and so Kovács’s 1912 essay on the Italian composer may tell us much about Bartók’s Scarlatti reception as well. I argue that, while Scarlatti’s musical style may indeed have appealed to Bartók in more respects than one, he may also have identified with Scarlatti, the man, who (in Kovács’s interpretation) developed a thoroughly ironic style after he realized the unavoidable loneliness resulting from the impossibility of communicating human emotions (an idea that must have intrigued Bartók right around the time he composed his Duke Bluebeard’s castle).In conclusion I propose that Scarlatti’s E major sonata (L21/K162), which Bartók performed on stage and also edited for an instructive publication, may have inspired the curious structural model that found its most clear-cut realization in Bartók’s Third Quartet.
2008., 46. évf. 1. szám 7. - 29.o
Hagyomány, újítás vagy utópia? : Haydn többszólamú énekei abs.
Tradition, Innovation or Utopia:
Haydn’s mehrstimmige Gesänge
Balázs Mikusi

Haydn’s mehrstimmige Gesänge, composed between 1796 and 1799, have mostly been given but scarce attention by scholars. In this paper I strive to recontextualize the partsongs both as regards Haydn's own oeuvre and the history of the genre in general. I argue that, while the composer may have been aware of the male quartets by his brother Michael, and was certainly familiar with the English glee tradition, his partsongs consciously seek to redefine the genre by raising its compositional, as well as performing, standards to a uniquely high level (hence the word "utopia" in my title). While the composer's aim appears to have been to set an example by exploring diverse artistic possibilities of the genre, the reception of his partsongs proved highly selective: the religious songs were praised as worthy models by conservative writers, whereas the comic pieces puzzled critics with their combination of highly elaborate music and resolutely "lowbrow" texts, which did not seem to deserve, as it were, such compositional care. Thus, the reception of the partsongs reinforces a common Haydn stereotype of the early 19th century: he is seen as a master of outstanding originality and compositional skill, whose achievements can only be admired, but whose example is not always to be followed.
2009., 47. évf. 4. szám 373. - 386.o
Haydn Il Distratto kísérőzenéje és a "színházi szimfónia" esztétikája - 2013., 51. évf. 3. szám 249. - 281.o
Két Mozart-tanulmány : 1. „Mozart másolt!”: adalék a Mozart-recepció kórtörténetéhez. 2. Egy újabb zenei tréfa? : a Haffner-szerenád g-moll menüettje abs.
[Two Mozart-Studies]
Balázs Mikusi
1. “Mozart Copied!” : Supplement to the Case History of Mozart Reception

While the literature on Mozart often presents his development as a more or less continuous assimilation of outside influences, the idea that he might have committed plagiarism on even a single occasion seems taboo. In this essay I examine three representative articles by prominent Mozart scholars presenting cases in which the suspicion of theft could arise. None of the authors explicitly touch upon the possibility of plagiarism, and in the end each of them suggests that Mozart’s copying was intended as an act of homage. This typical conclusion is unconvincing, even unlikely in these cases. The primary motivation for scholars’ turning to this idea seems to be that it clears Mozart of the accusation of plagiarism: instead, he appears not merely an innocent, but indeed most honourable man, eager to show his respect for his colleagues by quoting their music. In this light, I propose to abandon the “homage theory,” because the often unacknowledged retreat to this concept blurs the boundaries between very different cases, and consequently stands in the way of our understanding each of them in its own right.

2. Yet another Musical Joke? : The G-minor minuet of Mozart’s “Haffner Serenade,” K. 250

The reception history of this minuet is marred by a contradiction: all commentators consider it an eminent example of the composer’s “tragic G-minor” style, which seems to be at odds with the rest of the serenade, and especially its celebratory function. I propose that this paradox might be illusory: the minuet’s first four bars are arguably intended as a twisted quotation of an 18th-century lied, “Nun lasset die Sorgen” (“Enough of the troubles”), thus turning the whole movement into a parody. As a kind of internal evidence, I suggest that the peculiar form of the piece could have been inspired by the incorporated foreign material: the “inverted recapitulation” – supported by vast contrasts in dynamics and harmony – effectively separates the suspected quotation from the rest of the movement. While this reading sheds light on how Mozart’s Salzburg audience may have perceived the work, it also suggests that such a possibly “authentic” hearing is essentially lost for modern listeners.
2006., 44. évf. 2. szám 131. - 150.o
Mendelssohn "skót" hangneme? - 2010., 48. évf. 4. szám 397. - 423.o
Minerva párizsi nőkalapja és az imperátor fekete frakkja : August Adelburg és a kozmopolita nemzeti opera - 2011., 49. évf. 4. szám 448. - 466.o
Requiem Mozartért? : kiegészítések Haydn 98. szimfóniája Adagio-tételének értelmezéséhez abs.
A »Requiem for Mozart«?
An elaboration of Tovey’s commentary on the Adagio of Haydn’s Symphony No. 98
Balázs Mikusi

The idea that the slow movement of Symphony No. 98. “one of Haydn’s broadest and gravest utterances,” could be a kind of “Requiem for Mozart” has been raised by Donald Francis Tovey. Apart from the obvious chronological proximity (Haydn had heard of Mozart’s death in late December 1791, this work being first performed on 2 March 1792) and the generally ”Mozartian” character of the whole Adagio, Tovey based his argumentation on the similarity of Haydn’s second subject to the second subject of the slow movement in Mozart’s Jupiter symphony. As for the opening of the movement, however, he could only quote a later parallel from The Seasons; while Robbins Landon’s suggestion, that it was actually inspired by God save the King, to some extent even contradicts the deeply personal content hinted at by Tovey.
In this paper I propose that the first four bars of the Adagio of Symphony No. 98 are a conscious reminiscence of the slow movement of another symphony by Haydn, that of No. 75. This reference may well explain the conspicuous variationlike features of the Adagio (in Symphony No. 75 we have a series of variations as slow movement), and, being a kind of self-quotation, serves as a perfect counterpart to the Mozart-paraphrase of the second subject – thus perhaps commemorating the friendship of the two composers. Incidentally, we even have written proof that Mozart knew the quoted work: in 1784 he jotted down the incipit of it on a piece of paper, together with those of Symphonies Nos. 47 and 62. (Partly based on this, Elaine Sisman believes that this movement served Mozart as a model when composing the Andante of the B-major concerto, K. 450; that is, his first set of slow-movement variations in the piano-concertos.) Moreover, this series of variations by Haydn might have been based on a German song, An die Freunschaft, which would allow us to pair the two opening phrases of this “Requiem of Mozart” with the lines: “In stiller Wehmut, in Sehnsuchtstränen...” Thus, recognition of this reminiscence reinforces and, at the same time, deepens Tovey’s interpretation.
2002., 40. évf. 4. szám 417. - 430.o
Rec. Hommages à Somfai : Essays in Honor of László Somfai on His 70th Birtday : Studies int he Sources and the Interpretation of Music - 2006., 44. évf. 2. szám 215. - 224.o
Zeneszemiotikai szeminárium Helsinkiben és Tallinban - 2001., 39. évf. 1. szám 101. - 102.o