Fascinatin' Rhythm

April 30, 2010

Volt egy öreg apó

Filed under: Chorus,Language — Thurulingas @ 11:03 am
Tags: , , , , ,

So, tonight’s BBC Symphony Chorus rehearsal is the last in this set of Bartok rehearsals.  Cantata Profana will be one of the Prom pieces we perform later this summer.  We did it a few years back at the Proms under David Robertson, and it will be good to do it with him again.  He has a great rapport with the chorus, and everyone loves his musical intelligence.

But, Bartok.  It’s a great piece, full of some lovely melodies and haunting sections.  But Hungarian is a bloody hard language to pronounce.  I remember last time we performed the piece never thinking I really got to grips with the palatal ‘gy’ sound.  Well I’m bloody going to get it this time, even if it turns my tongue inside out!  My reputation depends on it 😀

The title of this post is the first line of the piece, which translates to ‘Once there was an old man’.  Eastern European fairy-tales are quite dark, I’ve found.  Some of the myths and tales set by Bartok and composers like Kodaly and Sibelius are quite bloody.  This one has a great story, which reminds me somewhat of the Celtic legend of the Children of Lir, though without the evil stepmother element.


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