• 1/2008: Music: History – Reflection – Ethnomusicology (contexts)

    1/2008: Music: History – Reflection – Ethnomusicology (contexts)


    ČIERNA, Alena: Preface
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, p. 3

    ELSCHEK, Oskár: “Slovak Music”, Slovak Music Publicistics, Music
    and Musicological Reviews
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 5 – 9


    HLAVÁČOVÁ, Anna A.: The Council of Florence and Liturgical Music
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 10 – 13

    The Canon for the Council of Florence by Byzantine composer Ioannes Plousiadenos is considered to be a composition “retrospective to the occasion of the Council”. Analysing both content and context of the Canon, however, the author suggests it is possible to date its text as simultaneous to the event. She enlarges her analysis with regards to the “retrospective and occasional” works by Latin composer Guillaume Duffay.
    Founding her approach on the parallelism of the church history and the history of art, she concludes with an important assertion about a prerequisite for the council’s debate – the communion of both Byzantine and Latin churches in the realm of music. The concept of communio sanctorum expressed within the Council of Florence through the musicology term “Symphony of Saints” had been a decisive argument for the Florentine Union – while emphasising cultural pluralism, it represented the verbal but not doctrinal diversity of Saints inspired by the same Holy Spirit.

    BERECZKY, János: The New Style of Hungarian Folk Music (Diachronic Review)
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 14 – 62

    It was Béla Bartók who first differentiated two styles within Hungarian folk music – an old and a new one, as he labelled them – in 1918. He defined the new style by two characteristics: 1) architectonic structure, and 2) adjustable dotted rhythm. He also emphasized the international significance of the new style in that it largely influenced the folk music of neighbouring peoples.
    The researches of the author have not only clarified the so-far unsettled date of the emergence of the new style, but also revealed the whole process of its development. It has been found that the architectonic melody structure was originally the favourite device of the song inserts in stage-plays of great popularity from the 1830s. Strolling companies took the songs to the rural population. It can be traced to the 1850s that the peasantry also began to shape their new songs on the model of these lyrics. Over the 1860s this new structure became broadly fashionable, and in the 1870s it all but predominated the Hungarian folk music stock. The tunes of this period belong to the early new style. It is characterized by a relatively low number of syllables to a line (8-12), a small tonal range of lines “A” and a plain melody motion starting mostly from the tonic.
    At the turn of the 1840s and 1850s a new dance was included in the so-called national dance cycle of the upper classes: the slow czardas. The music to the dance included novel popular art songs. The novelty was the slow 4/4 rhythmic structure required by the dance. This brought a deceleration, a twofold augmentation to the rhythmic world of Hungarian popular music now moving on crotchets, which earlier only knew the quick progression of quavers in the exclusively 2/4 metric realm. The new rhythmic layout also implied the tendency of two adjacent crotchets becoming dotted. The dance and the accompanying music also drifted to the village. It is traceable to the end of the 1870s that the new songs of the peasantry adopted this rhythmic pattern. Also, as the peasantry used this rhythmic layout, it was further altered: dotting became dependent on the syllable length of the text, thus changing from strophe to strophe.
    The meeting and fusion of the relatively new, still fashionable melody structure and the even more recent augmented rhythm produced a new style that may be called mature new style. It spread with explosive force in the 1890s and became predominant in autochtonous folk music, especially, of course, among the young people at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries. It is characterized by a certain schematic line-ending, the relatively high – and later further increasing – syllable number (10–22), the expanding range of lines “A”, the upward shift of the starting pitch of the melody and the increasingly colourful melodic outline.
    Recent researches – having explored the whole developmental process of a folk music style – have revealed what scholarship had overlooked so far: notably, that the folk music  styles did not crop up overnight but – similarly to the styles of “grand art” – reached their consummation via a long process of development.

    MARTINÁKOVÁ-RENDEKOVÁ, Zuzana: Ilja Zeljenka in the Context of the Slovak and Foreign Music
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 63 – 68

    In the context of the domestic music creation the composer Ilja Zeljenka belonged to the most prolific and performed authors – he composed more than 300 opuses in the course of his life, and also 100 music scores for film during the period 1957–1972. Already in his early compositions he revealed his leanings towards non-traditional metrorhythmical organization, resulting from the ardent piano improvisations. Soon after finishing his studies he revealed his inclination to the still actual post-Webernian orientations in European music with his Piano Quintet No. 2 (1958) and later an innovative cantata Oświęcim (1959), as the first Slovak composer, precisely at the time, when a so-called “creative method of socialist realism” was preferred. As Zeljenka had participated in the “August events” in 1968, he was expelled from the Union of Slovak Composers (1973) on the basis of political reasons, what actually equalled a prohibition of a public performance of his compositions. He found his refuge in “exile” in Harmonia near Modra, where he intensively continued in composing.

    In this period of “stagnation” when his pieces were neither accepted nor performed he summarized his personal compositional development and began to contemplate the idea of a return to the music tradition. He looked for a tie between domestic and European modern tendencies, and between folk and neo-romantic elements: his endeavours resulted in the cantata To Sing (1973) and Symphony No. 3 (1972). In this creative period he attained a certain material reduction and revealed a modal principle for himself based on elaboration of a four-tone pattern. Ten years Zeljenka devoted to the development and crystallization of the composing on the basis of a “cell principle”, whose analogy he saw in biology and physics, and stayed faithful to it or its variants till the end of his life.
    After the Velvet Revolution he got involved in social events for two years, he gave rise to the international festival of contemporary music Melos-Ethos and held other official posts emerging “from the needs of the cultural public at that time”, as he said. Almost all his pieces were and are performed in Slovakia, Bohemia and worldwide. It is a great honour for many festivals to feature some of the compositions of this genius of Slovak music.

    VYSLOUŽIL, Jiří: Generation of Ilja Zeljenka in Moravia and Its Music
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 69 – 72

    In the history of contemporary music in Moravia an important chapter belongs to the composers’ generation 1945–1948. Its pedagogical significance exceeded the boundaries of the region. In that time aspirants from Prague as well as from Slovakia came to Brno to the Janáček Academy to study composition: Miloslav Ištvan, Ctirad Kohoutek, Alois Piňos opened the windows to the world with their music creations and inspired as well as impressed other generations. However, it was the Velvet Revolution in 1989 which has formed a free creative space also for Moravian composers and by new contacts and by performances of pieces it opened also a way to the world. The 1945–1948 generation consisted of composers of various character and different destinies: Jan Novák (1921–1984), Ludvík Podešť (1921–1968), Josef Berg (1927–1971), Jaromír Podešva (1927–2000), Miloslav Ištvan (1928–1990), Gustav Křivinka (1928–1990); still living are Alois Piňos (1925), Čestmír Gregor (1926), Jan Ducháň (1927), Jiří Matys (1927), Zdeněk Zouhar (1927), Ctirad Kohoutek (1929), Pavel Blatný (1931). The work of these personalities began to close and it became a subject of publicistic as well as musicological reflection. Mainly the contribution of the modernist fraction is accentuated by publicists. A publication Dějiny hudby na Moravě (History of Music in Moravia, 2001) by Jiří Vysloužil (historical part written by Jiří Sehnal) brings a synthetic view on the music of this generation.


    KUPKOVIČ, Ladislav: Ilja Zeljenka
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 73 – 75


    Ľudovít M. Vajdička: Skladateľská generácia Ilju Zeljenku, jej smerovanie k Novej hudbe a mediálny ohlas tvorby do roku 1975
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 76 – 82


    PIESCHACÓN, Teresa: „Nemám žiadnu domovinu“. Skladateľ György Ligetti – slobodná duša
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 83 – 88


    PETŐCZOVÁ, Janka: Vojenská hudba v kultuře a historii Českých zemí. Editor: Jitka Bajgarová
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 34, 2008, No. 1, pp. 89 – 93

    [The contribution is available only in Slovak language in the printed version of the revue.]