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This study focuses on the use of the parlando rubato style of Hungarian folk music in György Kurtág’s compositions. Kurtág applies the terms parlando, rubato,and molto rubato several times, and these designations always refer to a clearly defined meaning in his compositions, connected to “Hungarianness” and sexuality. This study aims to reveal these meanings, aided by Kurtág’s compositional sketches and notes preserved in the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, as well as through analysis of vocal works such as the Four Songs (op. 11), S. K. –Remembrance Noise (op. 12), Attila József Fragments (op. 20), Seven Songs (op. 22), Eight Choruses (op. 23), Kafka Fragments (op. 24), and Three Old Inscriptions (op. 25).

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Abstract

Although Sándor Veress achieved his first significant successes in Hungary and abroad at the turn of the 1930s and 1940s, musicological research still remains indebted to the detailed analysis of the composer's career related to the history of Hungarian music and cultural life. Based on press and archival documents, letters and recollections, and the historical literature of the period as well, the present study attempts to explore the socio-cultural environment that characterized and helped to unfold Veress's development. My study looks at the composer's network of contacts, his family ties and the political-ideological movements and relations with the Reformed Church that promoted his career, and examines their direct influence on Sándor Veress's works composed during this period, especially The Miraculous Flute (1937), the Japanese Symphony (1940) and Térszili Katica (1943).

Open access