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Magnificent Magyars

Surveying the history of music in Hungary. Hungary was settled by the Magyars in the late 9th century and in 1000 became a state. After adopting Latin Christianity in the 11th century, the country’s rich musical heritage of church music started: Gregorian plainchants, and later in the Middle Ages with fully realized polyphonic singing. Bill picks it up from there with the blending of religious music and ethnic folksongs from the countryside, reflected in the music of Liszt, Kodály, and Bartók. And let’s not forget the influences of Hungarian gypsy music and Transylvanian dances.

Program 1

On Monday, Bill unearths music from the Renaissance, and we finish the show knowing a little bit more about Hungarian royalty and linguistics than we did at the start. 

Trad.: The Beginnings of Polyphonic Church Music in Hungary
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Trad.: Music from the Court of King Matthias (excerpt)
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Rózsavölgi: Csardas (excerpts)
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528
1:28, :33, 1:48

Bakfark: Fantasia & Galliard for Lute
Benko Consort
Hungaroton 31564

Trad.: Dances from the Vietoris Book of Tablature
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Trad.: Three Litanies from Janos Kajoni’s Missal
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Trad. Dances fr. a Pozsony Manuscript
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Csermák: Vaterlandsliebe (excerpt)
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528

Esterházy: Harmonia Caelestis (excerpts)
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Trad: Hajdu Song & Dance
Mandel Quartet
Hungaroton 31429

Program 2

On Tuesday, Bill may not be able to speak Hungarian, but he sure can find a lot of beautiful music and interesting anecdotes from those magnificent Magyars. 

Haydn: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 11, III
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
EMI 56960

Csermák: Vaterlandsliebe (excerpts)
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528
1:41, :53

Rózsavölgi: Three Csdárás
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528

Berlioz: Rákóczy March fr. The Damnation of Faust
Phil 156143

Erkel: Bánk Bán (excerpts)
Budapest Phil/Ferencsik
Hungaroton 11376
2:58, 7:27, 4:42

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9: Carnival in Pest
Cziffra, p.
EMI 67555
9:53, 2:17

Program 3

On Wednesday, Liszt shares his thoughts on his Hungarian Rhapsody and we sample some opera from this week’s country of choice. 

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1 in f minor
Mercury 432015

Erkel: Hunyadi Laszló (excerpts)
Hungarian State Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Hungarotron 12581
12:27, 5:20

Joachim: Violin Concerto No. 2, In the Hungarian Style, III
CSO/Kalmar; Barton Pine, v.
Cedille 68

Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, finale
CSO/Kalmar; Barton Pine, v.
Cedille 68

Brahms: Quartet for Piano and Strings No. 1 in g minor, Op. 25, IV (excerpt)
Kremer, v.; Bashmet, vla.; Argerich, p.; Maisky, vc.
DG 463700

Program 4

On Thursday, a very famous widow is merry and Sofie Von Otter drinks some Hungarian wine on a Sunday among other things. 

Lehár: Waltz fr. The Merry Widow
Philharmonia Hungarica/Dorati
Mer 434338

Lehár: Hungarian Fantasy, Op.. 45
Cincinnati Pops/Kunzel; McDuffie, v.
Telarc 80402

Bartók: Kossuth, Sz. 21 (excerpt)
Budapest Festival Orch/Fisher
Phil 689002

Kodály: “Youth is Like a Falcon”, “The Price of Wine on Mohovce Hill” & “Little Apple Fell Into the Mud”
Von Otter, ms.; Forsberg, p.
DG 463479

Kodály: Three Hungarian Folksongs
Oistrakh, v.; Ginsburg, p.
EMI 69367

Kodály: Dances of Galanta
Philadelphia Orch/Ormandy
Sony 62404

Kodály: “Drinking Wine on a Sunday
Von Otter, ms.; Forsberg, p.
DG 463479

Program 5

On Friday, we finish our final inning of Hungarian music with Ligeti and take a trip to Transylvania. 

Weiner: Divertimento, Op. 20 No. 5: Csürdöngölo
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528

Bartók: Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, III
Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion & Orchestra, III
Argerich,p; Freiere, p.

Phil 416378

Veress: Lassu fr. Four Transylvanian Dances
Camerata Bern/Zehetmair
ECM 1714

Ligeti: Four Wedding Dances
Philharmonia Orch & King’s Singers members
Sony 62311

Ligeti: Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (excerpts)
Ensemble Wein-Berlin
Sony 48052

Weiner: Divertimento
Budapest Strings
Capp 10528

Kodály: Háry János Suite
Lon 443444

Williams: Excerpt from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
Boston Pops/Williams
Phil 260602


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
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