Written by Joshua Iyer
Published: February 16, 2015 at 9:11 PM [UTC]
He lived very near Ravel's life from 1882 - 1967 and learned to play the violin as a child. With Bartók, whom I've studied on piano and hope to get on with listening to some of his orchestra stuff, Koldály studied and collected several folk songs that he used in his music, which was a Romantic style all to himself. His orchestral writing is somewhat similar to Ravel's Impressionalistic style, yet it has a distinct separate quality that is much more Romantic. His string and brass writing is very well done, his solo violin sections especially. Additionally, his flute and piccolo writing, I've heard in several of his works, his flowing with fast notes, in a very similar manner to what Ravel did in his "Daphnis et Chloe". He's written a large number of orchestral works, a symphony, a couple string quartets, a duet for violin and cello, and even a couple cello sonatas. I've heard three separate pieces by him now, and I think he's a composer I will begin blending in inspiration from with my own music.
String Quartet No. 1 (1908)
Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song (My favorite part (Var. XII - Var. XIV) of the piece:
What's cool is that both composers were influenced by Debussy and these French composers, they were both Hungarian, and they continued to drive their unique style of music into the 20th Century. All types of music that have really influenced me within this past year! Must be why I automatically connected with him.
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My favorite performances of the sonata are by Janos Starker (he has recorded it several times during his career), and here he is playing it live in a recital in Japan:
Mvt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MEUIGjfHNw
Mvt 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qm7_cI2b30
Mvt 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCB9X9a77uU (last 5 minutes only)
The YouTube recording of the whole of 3rd movement in this performance has been mysteriously partially blocked by someone for some strange copyright reason, permitting only a video of the last 5 minutes to be shown, but here is an audio-only recording of Starker performing the 3rd movement in its entirety:
Mvt 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbG6HOnQlRQ (complete, audio only)
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