Posts tagged ‘Hungarian music’

July 14, 2016

vale, vita brevis, iam non es mea vita

by ada

Esterházy Péter, 1950.04.14 – 2016.07.14

March 16, 2013

music of the week – Republic: 67-es út

by ada

This post is dedicated to Bódi László, also known as Cipő, the leader of the Hungarian band Republic, who recently passed away. And while I’m definitely no fan of any popular Hungarian band, his music represents that chaotic, emotionally troubled era after the revolution I was growing up in. It was his music we sung in summer camps, sitting by the campfire and feeling sad and free and heroical at the same time, as teenagers usually do.

(And here is another song of his I posted a while ago.)

May 18, 2012

music of the week – Republic: Kék és narancssárga

by ada

I almost never listen to any other music than Baroque, I guess it’s just something of an occupational disease with me, but my friend Ancsangyalka sent me this video as additional info to yesterday’s blue and orange post. It’s Kék és narancssárga (Blue and orange) from the Hungarian band Republic. So let’s get acquainted with the popular rock music style of the post-revolutionary Hungary of the 1990’s :o)

April 8, 2012


by ada

For Easter Sunday and for my last music post is something that hopefully restores our cruelly shattered national image a bit: the cantata No.29, Surrexit Christus hodie from the collection Harmonia Caelestis of Esterházy Pál, the one and only Hungarian baroque composer. During Baroque times we were too busy with singing our deprimating folk tunes, mourning about our terrible destiny and rebelling against the Turks or the Habsburgs or both at once (and, in the short but happy breaks of war, wildly dancing csárdás while being drunk) to care about art music. Our dance music was always quite fashionable among folks from other parts of Europe, and during the Romantic era composing music in stile Hongroise was a huge hype and it resulted quite a revival of our national music even in our own country, but Hungarian Baroque music, as genre, actually doesn’t exist except of this collection. Esterházy himself was more of a politician and soldier, who took part in the war against the Ottoman Empire pretty decently, than a man of culture.

The family Esterházy is a prominent example of the almost 1000 years old Hungarian nobility. They are the ones, who employed Haydn as their court composer, so their love of music (and their irresponsibility in financial matters, haha) resulted some excellent compositions of Haydn, like the Baryton trios or the Surprise Symphony. And, if you care about modern literature, you’ve sure already run into the family roman Harmonia caelestis (yes, the same title) of our internationally acknowledged contemporary writer Esterházy Péter.

This very collection was published in 1711 in Wien and contains 55 cantatas for the Catholic liturgy. They are written in a rather simple style with homophonic accompaniment, but, I think, from a man who spent his life mostly with fighting for freedom, and from an era of blood, sadness and war, it’s a nice attempt of trying to keep up with the world and culture outside of Hungary.

March 15, 2012

by the God of the Hungarians

by ada

Hungarian history is a long, straight line of tragical, ill-fated revolutions against different suppressive authorities. Being genetically coded for unhappiness, we insist to remember and celebrate all of them. Today is the anniversary of our unsuccessful revolution against the Habsburg empire in 1848.

We went for a walk to the castle district to see some of the festivities.

The weather was beautiful:

The street decorations were appropriate, festive and family friendly:

Hungarian folk music was played with various instruments:

There was opportunity to dance (or just to look at the professional folk dancers):

Masters of traditional Hungarian handwork presented their crafting process and sold their art:

People had picnic on the grass or took a stroll down the streets:

Children had fun:

One could buy traditional, painted Hungarian gingerbread and our national stuffed dragon Süsü, who is famous for having only one head but a happy soul:

There were plenty of delicious treats to choose from:

And of course there were also Hussars in picturesque robes, their facial hair styled in the Hungarian way. We are a martial nation, there were even times when whole Europe feared our arrows. All those times are gone more than a thousand years ago but we still proudly remember. We have a good (even if somewhat selective) memory and a collective unconscious Jung could be proud of.

People were proud of being Hungarian:

But even because we are Hungarians and proud of it, none of our holidays can pass without politics and demonstrations:

And well. Ehm. How to say it nicely. Dear Poland. If you want him, take him. For free. Asap.

The title of the post comes from a poem that is traditionally recited during the festivities every year and was written by the poet Petőfi Sándor, who died in the revolution at the age of 26. You can read the whole (terrible) translation here.

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