After three decades of our personal, publicly conducted discussion with Ernő Lendvai, in 1999 at a conference organized in memory of Bence Szabolcsi, I raised again my objections related his theories. Since my lecture was given in Hungarian, and its printed version was published in Hungarian language (Muzsika 2000, Bartók-analitika 2003), I feel necessary to present some of my objetions on an international forum as well, with particular aspect to the fact that in the Bartók literature - in spite of serious criticism (Petersen, Gillies) - several analysts employ up to now Lendvai's theories in a servile way. My objections are focussed upon four points. 1. The extension of Riemann's three-function theory to the twelvetone system is a theoretical arbitrariness and an impasse. 2. The axis interpretation of the tonalities - by identification of polar keys - is in flat contradiction with Bartók's tonal thinking. 3. The pentatony interpreted as a golden section system is very much doubtful according basic experiences of the ethnomusicology. 4. The typical Bartókian chord structures - named by Lendvai α, β etc. - are phenomenologically correct, but their interpretation by Fibonacci figures is arbitrary, because the actual intervals represent another ratios.
Műemlékes építész számára gyakran talány a műemlékben meglelni a régi alkotók méretezési vagy arányosítási módszereit. Számos eljárás ismeretes a középkori, kivált a reneszánsz művészetből, építészetből, például az aranymetszés vagy a Fibonacci-számsor. Ezek ókori művészek és papok általi használatáról nincs konkrét bizonyíték. Számos feltételezés viszont létezik, mint „szent geometria”.Elképzelésünk alapja: az egyiptomiak által használt szeked (seked) méretezés létezett rézsűk, rámpák, gátak tervezésére. Egy seked 2 háromszög hasonló az aranymetszés szerkesztő háromszögéhez. És feltételezzük, hogy körzővel ki tudták jelölni a P pontot a háromszög átfogóján. A P ponttal pedig háromféle arányosság szerkeszthető: a φ (fi) 0,618 arányszám, amit ismerünk a reneszánsz óta, s a leleményünk szerinti χ (khi) 0,523, valamint a ψ (pszi) 0,381. Mindhárom arányszám megtalálható az óegyiptomi monumentális, kultikus építészetben mint átló, tengely, kétoldali átló az alaprajzokban, és a hosszúság-magasság arány a metszetekben és homlokzatokon.A cikk végén Taposiris Magna sajátos rekonstrukciói szerepelnek.
The year 1955 has a special importance for the compositional thinking in Hungary, because it was the year in which Ernő Lendvai's studies of Béla Bartók appeared (Bartók's Style and An Introduction to the Analysis of Bartók's Works). These writings were intended to prove the modernity of his music, a modernity that was comparable to Western-European dodecaphony and serialism. Hungarian composers, attempting to liberate themselves from the dictatorical aesthetic theory of the fifties, saw in Lendvai's publications a kind of instruction book, a Kompositionslehre which could help them to renew Hungarian composition. Model scales, Bartók's harmonic formulas and the Golden Section were understood in this context as devices of modernity in new music. Young Hungarian composers had begun to follow Bartók's path as early as in the mid-twenties. Until 1955, however, this had meant only a stylistic imitation of his works: Bartók's musical language represented for them the modern manner of self-expression. The consequence of Lendvai's publications was that composers could move away from style imitation and build on some Bartókian constructional principles in their compositions. I take Endre Szervánszky's Second String Quartet (1956-57) and its manuscript sources as a case study demonstrating how the composer worked with scale models, the golden section and other elements of Lendvai's theory. As I argue, Szervánszky's work is an emblematic but also a complex case, for he strove to combine the Bartókian method with a kind of serialism.
Analysis of Kurtágs's compositional techniques centred on ways of generating and developing musical figures, whose immediate perceptibility can be set in a contemporary aestethics of expression. Figures are shaped from basic and elementary cells (mostly second- or third- intervallic cells), a matter still chaotic and formless, which through subsequent harmonic fillings and widenings become little by little animated; this process of musical generation alludes to those of spontaneous generation and transformation of the natural world. Kurtág's formal structures are conceived as brief, almost aphoristic ones, fashioned by the inner characters of figures; their leaps are mainly constituted by ratios of “golden section”, that is nature's inner geometry. Strong, bright- coloured gestures are the musical culmination of these “figural” and living developments. Exemplifications of some figures' articulation, as well as of their generation and development processes from elementary cells follow, through selected passages from op. 7, 17, 24, 27. This charming spectacle of nature in Kurtág's music is further innervated by a deep sense of history: Bach's polyphony, the italian Baroque aria, Beethoven's instrumental recitative, Bartók's harmony, the dodecaphonic techniques, as tutelary deity of such a personal expressive world.