Interview from 1993 with the late Vargyas Lajos – folk music researcher. Discussion of the 8th volume of a series called ’Népzene tára’ [collection of folk music] which had just been published (11 years after the manuscript had been submitted to the publisher) at that time. This volume contains 30 types of folk songs. „...of course there is no style [of folk song] that we developed. Melodies on the other hand; there are hundreds, thousands that can only be found here [in Hungary] and that our people have invented. They are variants of eastern melodies and/or representatives of that style”. Interview by Halmos Béla (from video recording for Hungarian Television.)
Review of a concert at the Bartók Theatre at the Palace of the Arts in Budapest on January 18th, 2008. This concert was to have presented an overview of the new folk music department at the Liszt Academy of Music. The critic here left at the break, apparantly disgusted with the proportion of representation of the actual students in the program, and displeased with the Muzsikás Ensemble’s performance. By Kiss Eszter Veronika. First appeared in Magyar Nemzet, January 21, 2008.
New CD: Folk songs from the villages of Kecel and Kiskunhalas. A two CD album of traditional songs from these two communities in the Hungarian plain. Includes archival recordings collected on location by ethnomusicologist Szomjas-Schiffert György in the 1950s and ’60s and recordings of the Kecel Traditional Women’s Chorus from 2006. Edited by Bodor Anikó and Németh István. Released in 2007 by Bács-Kiskun County and the Dési Institute. Announcement by Paksa Katalin
Hungarian kings, saints, brave warriors. Interview with Kiss Ferenc, composer and director of the Etnofon Music Consort. On March 18th as part of Budapest’s Spring Festival, a world music concert of Kiss Ferenc’s work will be held at the Liszt Academy of Music. The concert will celebrate the legends of 15th century Hungarian kings Hunyadi János and Hunyadi Mátyás. Performing in addition to the Etnofon Music Consort will be Borbély Mihály (Vujicsics Ensemble) and singers Bognár Szilvia, Szvorák Kati and Juhász Katalin and others. By Kiss Eszter Veronika
2008 is the year of King Matthias Corvinus (1443–1490), aka Hunyadi Mátyás, who was king of Hungary from 1458 until his death. Here Dr. Kríza Ildikó tells about King Mátyás, Hungarian hero in folklore. King Mátyás was known as being intelligent, he fought for his people, for truth and justice, and worked hard so that the country would thrive. Akadémiai Press has recently published Dr. Kríza’s book on this subject. Conversation with Kóka Rozália
Kodály Zoltán the folk music researcher – Part I. In honour of the 125th anniversary of Kodaly’s birth, from September 13th, 2007–February 1st, 2008 documents regarding Kodály’s collection work, photos and letters were on exhibition at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. The exhibition was organized by Pávai István. Selected items from the exhibition will be printed in folkMAGazin this year. In this issue are excerpts from Kodály’s letters on meeting folk music researcher Vikár Béla for the first time in 1903 and on Kodály’s first trip to collect folk songs in Hungarian communities in what is now Slovakia.
Portrait of a traditional fi sherman. Lencse Dénes lives in the village of Mecsér in the region known as Szigetköz in Northwestern Hungary along the so-called Mosoni Duna – which is a branch of the Danube. He has always lived there and has always been a fisherman, and so was his father and father before him. He learned his trade from his father and still uses the traditional methods and tools. A short account of Mr. Lencse’s life and profession. Includes recipe for fish soup. By Henics Tamás
Interview with Németh Ildikó, folk dancer, teacher, choreographer dedicated to the authentic style. Ildikó turned 50 in 2007. To celebrate, she brought together the traditional dancers and choreographies that have inspired her during her career, which began at the Hungarian Institute of Ballet as a high school student. She also brought together a group of her peers, students and family: to form the unusual full length dance program called Ostinato, which was performed in December of 2007 at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. Interview by Strack Orsolya
Melodies of the Kazaks in Mongolia. Some 100,000 Kazaks live in Bajan Ölgij County in Western Mongolia alongside Mongolians and Tuva peoples. The people in this region live in tents tending their animals in the summer monthes, and move into stable wooden or adobe houses for the winter. The music of Kazak inhabitants from the village of Nalajhra is discussed here. The Kazaks were moved there as part of a Soviet relocation program in the 1950’s and have maintained their Kazak identity. Mongolian Kazaks sing often at celebrational family meals. They sing ’simple songs’ of love for their homeland and ancestors. Like the Hungarians, they also have songs that bid farewell to the bride upon leaving her family and childhood. There is also a form of sung epic poetry these are epics from 200 to 10,000 lines in length and serve as a sort of library on the culture. Their melodies basically move on a ’do-pentatonic scale’. See article in Hungarian for samples of music. By ethnomusicilogist Sipos János – see also his book in English on same subject published by Akadémai Kiadó in Budapest, 2001.
A story about the village of Zomba in Hungary’s Tolna County as told by Mrs Schneider János (Piller Magdolna). Mainly this woman’s memories communicate the chaos of the World War Two period and its aftermath and what that meant for this village. „Just before WW.II., 229 Hungarian families and 238 families of German descent – a total of 2040 people lived in Zomba. After the war, 172 of the German familes were deported, 158 Székely familes (from Transylvania) and 44 familes from Slovakia were moved into their homes. 66 German familes remained in the village...” This is an account of personal losses of family members that never returned from the war, those that were war prisoners, having to house Russian soldiers in their homes, then later being ousted from their homes by the authorities with nothing and those familes that moved into their places... and some lifetime friendships that formed. As told to Kóka Rozália.
The 2008 National Dance House Festival and Crafts Market will be held April 11–13. On the evening of April 11th at the Hungarian Heritage House there will be a concert previewing of the weekend’s events. The Festival will be held at the Papp László Sport Arena in Budapest and the Saturday night ball will be at Petőfi Csarnok.
Pesovár Ernő 1926–2008 March 2. Dance historian, folk dance researcher, musicologist, retired director of folk dance research department of the Hungarian Institute of Musicology. An xtraordinary man whose work is well known throughout Europe and beyond. He was honored by any, many friends, colleagues, students at funeral services in Budapest on March 27th. A member of the group of world reknowned Hungarian dance researchers that brought dance archives into existence, formulated the basis for Hungarian dance research. He as a person and his work are deeply respected. His passing leaves a large hole in the profession and in many people’s hearts. Printed here are words of farewell from Mrs. Szurmai Sikló Mária (from the Ministry of Culture and Education), Felföldi László (Director of Dance Research Department of the Hungarian Institute of Musicology), Antal László (former student/dance educator – Szombathely College).
Deadline for applications for the title of Young Master of Folk Arts is 2008 April 28. Applicants must be between 15 and 35 years of age and must apply in writing. Winners of this nationally accepted title of excellence in folk arts will be awarded on August 20th, 2008. Applicants may apply either in the performing folk artist or handcrafts categories. For contact information see announcement in Hungarian.
Cultural TV on the internet – a new cultural medium A new Hungarian internet cultural and arts TV site has been operating since January 2008. Presently the site is financed entirely by the operating company. They have about 250 visitors to the site per day. They expect to have 1000 visitors per day by end of the summer. They report on Hungarian Cultural and Arts events and news. The site serves a broad sprectrum of Hungarian arts and culture – folk arts are also included in the programming. The site can be found at http://www.kulturalis.tv/ K. Tóth László interviews director Márkus István.
Book review: Vargyas Lajos: A Magyarság Népzenéje/Folk Music of the Hungarians A re-publication of Vargyás’ book from 1981. The 2002 publication includes CD of 433 music examples (Plánétás Press, Budapest) Also published on CD ROM with an English version in 2005 (by Arcanum, Budapest) By Paksa Katalin – ethnomusicologist
Jankovics Marcell’s images of Hungarian King Matthias. Conversation with this reknowned Hungarian animation film maker, writer, graphic artist, illustrator, politician – and how his image of Hungarian King Matthias formed. By Kóka Rozália
Interview with members of the BaHorKa Ensemble Three young singers who dance in the Jászság Ensemble have recently formed this ensemble. They began working together in mid 2007. They have one cut on the soon to be released 2008 Dance House – Hungarian Folk Music recording. They work together with the Hírős, Düvő and MaToCsáv Bands and the Jászság Ensemble. By Gál Dobos Bea
Part I. Széki Soós János – is a writer who was born in the village of Szék in the Mezőség region of Transylvania. He and his family moved to Budapest in 1990. When he writes about Szék his stories are amazing, captivating accounts of real life there – this one is about a young girl who has her first communion. Soon after, her mother took her to the ’servants market’ in the nearest town, where people from the city came to choose country girls to work as household servants for their families in the city; then the girl’s first monthes working as a servant in Kolozsvár and her first trip home for the Christmas holidays.
Creative tradition in visual education for children and young people Working from the basic principles of a Hungarian educational organization called the Children and Young People Arts Workshop (the so-called ’GYIK-Mühely’), Eplényi Anna is looking for new ways to inspire children to use their own creativity while learning and doing traditional folk arts and crafts.
On the life-work of Hungarian textile artist Szekeres Erzsébet – to be exhibited in four locations in the town of Gödöllő, Hungary from May 3–June 29, 2008 Born in 1938 in Budapest, her roots and home are in the town of Gödöllő. In 1969 she was given the task of collecting the living folk arts in the region around Gödöllő. „This artist’s works not only captivate with their beauty, but her themes disclose the spirit of Hungarian Christianity, bringing the spirit of earthly man spirit closer to God...” Report by Borka Elly
Part I : the life of Dr. Gerzanics Magdolna An extraordinary account of a Hungarian woman who was born in the 1930’s, the youngest in a family of 13 children in Ruthenia in Southewestern Ukraine. The course of events over the next 20 years took her to four countries and a dozen diff erent villages and schools, as the borders of Hungary changed and the war brought all manner of chaos during those years. This woman’s life is an example of the trials that people went through in order to keep alive, stay together with family, finish elementary school and enter adulthood. As told to Kóka Rozália
11th Verbunk Competition – to be held on May 17, 2008 in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary and sponsored/organized by the Zala Dance Foundation and the City of Zalaegerszeg. This year’s compulsory dance material to be performed by contestants: Verbunk of Désfalva (Deaj) or Százcsávás (Ceuaş), Transylvania. First prize 70,000. HUF. Contact info – see announcment in Hungarian.
Three dimensional movement analysis Dr. Stuber István is the director of the 3 Dimensional Morphological and Movement Analysis Laboratory at the Physical Education and Sport Sciences Department of the Semmelweis Medicial University in Budapest. He and a student, Molnár Sándor, have been collaborating on use of this scientifi c method using the so-called ’stereoconverter’ to analyse movement. The method has many applications in medicine and sports, but they have already experimented using the method for documenting and analysing traditional dance and suggest that it could be invaluable in preserving Hungary’s rapidly disappearing traditional dance heritage.
Zerkula János, August 27, 1927 – May 7, 2008: an extraordinary traditional fiddler, performer and person from the Gyimes region of Transylvania who had an unforgettable voice.
Remembering Zerkula – a story told by him about a girl from his youth. Transcribed by Endrődi Péter.
Zerkula János tells stories of his youth, being a prisoner of the Russians during WW II and how he met and married his wife Fikó Regina. From interview by K. Tóth László. Reprinted from folkMAGazin 1995/2.
Musician Ábrahám Judit remembers Zerkula – includes a tall tale about a trout told by him – an excerpt from her book entitled ’Zerkula’.
Excerpts from Halmos/Szomjas portrait film on Zerkula; Eulogies by Sára Ferenc (dancer, choreographer, musician),Sebő Ferenc (musician, folk music researcher), Lajkó Félix (violinist), Fehér Zsombor (musician), Kerényi Róbert (musician) from www.quart.hu
Kiss Dénes, the celebrated Hungarian writer, poet, linguist, translator and editor, has written three books on the great King Mathias Corvinus (King Hunyadi Mátyás), ’the just’ – a key fi gure of Hungarian legend and history. King Mathias Corvinus was born in 1443 and died in 1490. Kiss Dénes tells a bit about his historical research towards writing his three volumes on Hungary’s favorite king. Interview by Kóka Rozália
New Record: Tükrös Band – Our Transylvanian Heath – Mezőség. „...this is the music that made us decide to make Hungarian folk music an important part of our lives...” Released: 2008 FolkEurópa FECD040
Jászberény, Hungary: August 2–10, 2008. During this time period the Jászság Folk Dance Ensemble sponsors a plethora of events – all worth checking out: The Csángó Festival 27th International Folk Dance And Music Camp (Aug 2–9) 2nd ’Folkologia’ Folk Music Camp All held in the nice town of Jászberény approx 60km due east of Budapest.
Kodály Zoltán – The Folk Music Researcher: Part 3. More excerpts from the photo and document exhibition which was at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest last year. Curated by Pávai István Themes addressed: Hungarian folk music’s: eastern roots / western infl uences; relationship to neighboring ethnic groups; folk music research at the Academy of Sciences. (quotes from Kodály’s various writings dated between 1931–1964)
Part II Széki Soós János writes another episode about life in his native village of Szék (Sic) in Transylvania: a tale about collectivization of the farm animals in 1960, when the Calvinist minister left town and the funeral of a young man from the village.
On May 4, 2008 in Temesvár (Timisoara, Romania), there was a dance performance: the culmination of 8 years of work by members of the nearby Szeged Folk Dance Ensemble. Th e project was to teach Hungarian folk dance to children of the scattered Hungarian population in several towns (Végvár, Lugos, Zsombolya, Detta, Temesvár) in that area of Romania. The performance was well attended, well recieved and the project as a whole duly complimented here. Report by Demarcsek György
Part II: The life of Dr. Gerzanics Magdolna. In this part of the account, we hear about her adult life and professional career. Her work as a teacher and collection and research work on folk songs, folk art/customs and language in Komarom/Esztergom County is well respected and has won her many awards over the years. She earned a number of college and university degrees (in music education and ethnography) and has published many many articles and books. She presently lives and continues her work in Budapest. As told to Kóka Rozália
Ethnomusicologist Vargyas Lajos, dance researcher Pesovár Ernő and ethnographer Andrásfalvy Bertalan recall some early expeditions collecting folk music and dance and working together in the 1950’s and 60’s. These are excerpts from the portrait film on Vargyas entitled ’Kerítésen kívül’ from 2000. Both Vargyas and Pesovár have died in the last year thus leaving large gaps in the research community in Hungary. These selections were transcribed by Szőkéné Károlyi Annamária and edited by a group from the Institute of Musicology.
On the music of the Moldavian Csángó Hungarians, the former Táltos Band (they accompanied the Kertészeti – Gardening and Agriculture –University’s dance group in the second half of the 1980’s), certain theories on the drum and bagpipe and other language connections pointing to the Hungarianness of the Moldavian region. By Kozák József
A discussion on use of the drum in Moldavian music in Budapest dance houses. Apparantly within the city revival movement here in Budapest there has been criticism of use of the drum in Moldavian Csángó music as not being historically authentic enough. This article argues in support of the drum from a number of points of view. By Barvich Iván
Lévai Péter, senior lecturer – Hungarian Academy of Dance, has written an academic paper on the signifi cance and importance of games and play in a child’s development, and methods of teaching dance movement to children. ’....The main model for teaching dance movement in Hungary has been, since the beginning of institutionalization of dance, demonstrationimitation.... Understanding of the structure and parts of movement are also useful for bringing dance students to a higher level of creativity in dance (...), along with ’indirect methods’ of teaching...’ (assumably through play and games). Includes bibliography. Note: The list of 2008 summer folk dance, music and crafts camps and workshops in Hungary and surrounding countries was printed in the previous issue of folkMAGazin (2008/2).
Potta Géza Folk Music Talent Search and Competition. Date: November 29, 2008 – Révkomárom (Komarno, Slovakia). Two categories: 1) String bands, 2) Solo fiddle
Participants must select material from one of 3 categories: The Mezőség region, repertoire of Potta Géza – Abaújszina [Sena, Slovakia] or any region of Slovakia. Contact info in announcement in Hungarian.
’Accredited’ Dance Weekends at Hungarian Heritage House – 2008. October 4/5: Dances of Tirpák (Northeasten Hungary); December 6/7 Dances of Felcsík (Transylvania); Saturday 10–6/Sunday 9–1. Teaching language : Hungarian. Organized mainly for experienced Hungarian dance teachers, or other with more than 5 years of dance experience. Further info in announcement in Hungarian.
The Bukovina Székely Festival was held June 20–21, 2008 in the village of Tevel in Hungary’s Tolna County. The event, organized for the 14th time by the National Bukovina Székely Association, included photo exhibition, traditonal crafts market, ethnographic exhibition and release of a book of Bukovina Recipes. A traditional wedding was staged – with 1500 ’wedding guests’– members of some 25 folk dance and folk singing groups from communities of Bukovina Székely people from several regions of Hungary. [Bukovina is a region located today partially in Northeastern Transylvania/partially in the Ukraine. The Székely Hungarians were expelled from the region in 1941 then transported and resettled eventually in Hungary]. Report by Fehér Attila and Péter László.
Young Masters of Folk Arts. Those awarded this national title for 2008 were congratulated by State Minister Hiller István in a ceremony at the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts on August 20th. See announcement in Hungarian for names. 4 young people won in dance, 11 in the category of folk crafts.
Announcement for several series of children’s/teenagers folk arts programs (music,folk dance, Hungarian Renaissance year, folk customs) held at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. See Hungarian announcement for contact info/dates.
Magtar – Literary column. The eternal soul. Writer and poet Juhos-Kiss János writes on the death of a friend.
45th Europeade – International Folk Dance Festival. This large scale festival of amateur dance groups was hed this year July 23–27, 2008 in the town of Martigny, Switzerland. There were more than 5000 participants (including groups from Hungary). The 5 day festival took place in 9 locations. In 2009 the festival will be held in Klaipeda, Lithuania; in 2010 in Dachau, Germany. Report by Mikulai Csaba.
I like Széki Soós János’ short stories. I save them for last, my reward, when reading through the folkMAGazin articles. Mostly tales from Soós’ own early life in Szék. This one is about the first day he was sent to preschool; he simply didn’t go to school. He and two friends instead chose the lane that led through the Romanian graveyard and into the vineyard – where they spent the morning. His mother immediately figured out he hadn’t gone to school, and instead of forcing him go – bought chickens, ducks, and so on for him to tend...
In the Wake of History. Mrs. Ludányi András (Gaál Annamária)’s personal account of her life and the saga of her family during the war and since then. She was born in 1944 and was baptized while Budapest was being bombed in WWII. Her father was taken away by the Russians when she less than a year old. They never saw him again. From then on, she lived with her mother and grandmother like others during that period, especially anyone having any connection with any part of society unpopular with the government in power. Her grandfather had been a general and her father a lawyer before WW II. The authorities moved them from one place to another where they shared houses/ rooms/ apartments with many people in many different towns. She finished school at the age of 15 and went to work immediately, knowing that she had no chance of further study under that government. Eventually she, her mother and grandmother made a contract with an elderly woman in Budapest who needed care, in exchange for which they inherited her flat. She cared for her mother and grandmother until she met her husband in 1995. She now lives in the USA. As told to Kóka Rozália.
Hungarian King Matthias in Moldavia. In Hungary this is the year of King Matthias Corvinus – a celebration of the height of the Hungarian Renaissance. Here we have a historical-ethnographical study attesting to how the memory of King Matthias lives within the ethnic Hungarian Csángó people in Moldavia today, along with historical references to King Matthias himself having actually been in Moldavia – with particular reference to the villages of Klézse (Cleja, Romania) and castle ruins in Moldvabánya (Baia, Romania). By Halász Péter. (includes bibliography)
Part IV: Ethnomusicologist Sipos János – Folk Music Research. A comparison of folk songs from two ends of the Kazakh steppe. Today western ethnomusicology deals mainly with questions and methods taken from social anthropology. Analytical and comparative folk music research, often thought of as old-fashioned, may find new strength, as for example the Hungarians work on comparing Hungarian folk music with that of its various neighbors. Here almost parenthetically Sipos János tells us first about a recent experience doing field research amongst the Huichol Indians of Mexico. He attended an Easter celebration where all filming, photography and sound recording was prohibited. Sipos then goes on to give a technical overview of melodic structure – comparing the traditional music of the western Kazakh region on the Caspian sea with the melodies of the Mongolian Kazakh people.
Growing grapes in the village of Visa ( Vişea, Romania ) – Mezőség region of Transylvania. An account of local traditional grape farming methods as told by Fodor ’Selyem’ János and his wife Erzsébet (who are also exceptional dancers in the village). By Henics Tamás, Source: Kiss Géza: Visa fényképes krónika, 2006.
Fikó Regina, hit-cello player (wife of the late Zerkula János – Gyimes fiddler), passed away on November 2, 2008. Rest in peace.
Novák Ferenc’ (choreographer, long-time director of the Honvéd Ensemble) account of his fi rst trip to Szék (Sic, Transylvania, Romania) in 1958 to do field collection work on the dance there. Novák went to Szék upon the recommendation of dance researcher Martin György because no research on dance had yet been done there. At that time there was no public transportation to Szék at all, one had to walk in, more than 10km. This account was first published in 1960 in the June issue of Néptáncos. Novák wrote his thesis in university on the dances of Szék [’The societal role of dance in Szék’] which has since been published by Planétás Press as a chapter in the book entitled ’A széki hangszeres népzene’ [’Instrumental Folk Music in the Village Szék’].
folkMAGazin’s special issue In memory of Vargyas Lajos. Edited by Szőkéné Károlyi Annamária and Vargyas Gábor. Vargyas Lajos, Hungarian ethnografer, ethnomusicologist, dance researcher, died on October 11, 2007: this special issue of folkMAGazin honors him and his work, focusing especially on Vargyas’ connection with the village of Áj [Háj] in southern Slovakia, using Vargyas’ autobiography (published in 1993, Szépirodalmi Press, Budapest) as a point of departure.
Report on the dance festival held on October 4, 2008 in the tiny village (400 residents) of Vice [Viţa] in the northern Mezőség region of Transylvania. This folk dance and song meeting, mainly of local groups, was held this year for the 13th time and has helped to keep the dance tradition alive in the region. This year a choreography performed by the Harghita Székely Folk Dance Ensemble brought the dances of Vice alive (especially the men’s dance ) – the piece is based on archival fi lms made in 1971 of the dances of Vice. Report by Vice Parish priest /psychologist, Lőrinczi Károly
Announcement for launch of a website including a collection of tales about Hungary’s Renaissance King – Matthias Corvinus (1456–1490) – told in Hungarian. (http://matyasmesek.oszk.hu/) Report by Kóka Rozália
Bognár Szilvia is one of the most popular young singers in Budapest’s dance house movement today. Her new solo recording will be released sometime in November 2008. She sings traditional folk music, old music and mixtures of contemporary rock and folk. Check her discography in the Hungarian article. Interview by Erdélyi T. László
This issue’s literary column: poetry by Mesics György ’Mesó’ who is also a fiddler.
The Hajdú Dance Ensemble celebrated their 55th anniversary in Debrecen October 11–18, 2008. More than 400 dancers took part in the celebration. Present directors of the ensemble: Lovas Bálint and Tiszai Zsuzsa. Report by Krakkó Ákos
Part I. The story of Rajec Molnár Erzsébet – born in the city of Pozsony (Bratislava) in 1931. Her father was Hungarian (a tailor), her mother was ethnically German. After WW II, her family was uprooted and deported to Hungary, like many, many families simply because they were Hungarians. This part of the story tells about her childhood and schooling in Pozsony, their deportation, relocation in Budapest where she finished high school and then started working as an interpreter. As told to Kóka Rozália
Report on Szinavölgyi Dance Workshop’s performance in Miskolc on October 18, 2008 (Artistic directors : Kiss Anita and Maródi Attila). The amateur group’s exceptional performance of turning dances is praised here: ’...the dancers turn with extraordinary confidence...’. The accompanying band, Tényleg Band, was also complimented. This report also offered an opportunity for the writer to put in a few comments on general lack of public support for folk dance groups. By Demarcsek György
Szeredás Band celebrated their 15th anniversary on September 27th in Debrecen at an event which included performances by Boka Gábor, Bodrog Folk Dance Ensemble, Hajdú, Főnix and Szélrózsa folk dance ensembles, the Csík Band, Burány Trió and Szalonna and his band. Ethnographer Darmos István looks back on 14 years of working with the band.
The Kaláka Festival is a world music festival that happens every year the second weekend in July, in the city of Miskolc, with most of the events held in the ruins of a castle in Diósgyőr on the outskirts of town. The Kaláka Band, who started the festival, play there every year and still participate in organizing the festival. Kaláka Band itself is an institution in Hungary, they play folk music and several generations have grown up on their music. The festival usually hosts several bands from outside of Hungary and a long line-up of the biggest names in Hungarian traditional, folk and world music. Plans are already underway for the 2009 Kaláka Festival, and the festival’s 30th anniversary. Given the economic situation here in Hungary, there is less and less public funding available to support these kinds of events, so the 2009 festival is planning a great program of Hungarian bands (rather than bringing bands from abroad). Report by K. Tóth László
Review: Prophet from the past: more information on Molnár István’s work and personality. In his time, Molnár’s work was often at odds with the cultural policies of the political powers. Performances of his choreographies Dobozi csárdás and Marosszéki táncok by the Honvéd Dance Theatre and the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble respectively, in the September 16th anniversary program, are praised as having been ’exceptionally inspired’. Unfortunately nowadays Molnár’s works are not part of the regular repertoire of any of the dance ensembles. By Fuchs Lívia – appeared in Élet és Irodalom, 2008 Sept. 26.
In memory of Fikó Regina 1922– November 2008. Hit cello player, wife and musical partner of the late traditional fiddler Zerkula János. Regina came from a family of musicians. She was from the village of Gyimesközéplok [Lunca de Jos] in Eastern Transylvania. By Endrődi Péter and Ábrahám Judit
Mohácsy Albert (double bass player) brought together a choreography for the Forrás Ensemble (from the town of Százhalombatta) – based on the life of his grandfather – a man who was born in a village in Transylvania, was orphaned, went to school in Transylvania, lived in Tolna County, then Budapest where he died in 2007. Choreographers of the dance theatre piece were Lőrincz Hortenzia, Kovács Norbert, Ónodi Béla. Narrator: Galkó Balázs. Music: Gömbszörp Band. With the Forrás Dance Ensemble (artistic director: Szigetvári József ). Report by Mohácsy Albert
Excerpts from the late historian Juhász László’s book entitled „King Matthias in Vienna” [Mátyás Király Bécsben] (Új Horizont Press, Veszprém, Hungary 2002). Kóka Rozália contacted Juhász László at his home in the town of Fraknó, Austria recently, as part of her quest for artists, writers or others who have created works on Hungary’s renaissance King Matthias Hunyadi. Juhász was not well enough at the time to give an interview, but gave permission to print excerpts from his book.
Announcement: Two publications Bartók Béla – the folk music researcher – photographs and documents from the exhibit Kodály Zoltán – the folk music researcher – photographs and documents from the exhibit Pávai István: curator of two exhibitions with the same titles, has now published these two volumes at the Hagyományok Háza, Budapest. 2008.
Molnár Géza „Sandrík” – Fiddler from Southern Slovakia died on November 23, 2008. He was from the village of Alsókálosa [not found on my map of Slovakia S.F.] and spent his life serving the musical needs of at least the Hungarians in the Gömör region/ Vály Valley (somewhere in the region surrounding the town of Losonc [Lučenec]). There are recordings of this musician in the archives of the Institute of Musicology and he played on a recent recording of music from Gömör region. By Agócs Gergely
Page 17 Szekszárd Folk Dance Festival 2008 November 15–16. This festival/competition for amateur folk dance groups is held every two years. The first festival was in 1968. This year’s jury: Demarcsk György, Farkas Zoltán, Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér, Széphalmi Zoltán, Lányi Péter. This year there were more than 500 participants from 16 dance groups. The grand prize (180,000. HUF) was awarded to the Alba Regia Dance Ensemble from the city of Székesfehérvár. Report by Karácsonyi Zoltán
Page 19 New Publication: Holttengeri idők by Széki Soós János. Kráter Press, Budapest, 2008. Poems and prose in Hungarian – Short stories by this writer are regularly published in folkMAGazin.
Page 20 Transylvania’s Csík Region the Csík Mountains and the Csík region of Eastern Transylvania, has its center in the town of Csíkszereda [Mercurea-Ciuc]. The Hungarians in this area are mainly Roman Catholic. Each year at Pentecost there is a pilgrimage to the Csíksomlyó Church just outside of Csíkszereda. This year there was dance festival in July, fiddlers festival in September and a festival of Transylvanian Hungarian professional folk dance ensembles in October. Report by Záhonyi András
Page 25 The Improvisor – Szokolay Dongó Balázs. A talented, creative and extremely active freelance musician, Dongó plays soprano sax, wooden flute, bagpipe, tarogato. He can be heard in concerts in Hungary and abroad, and on countless recordings accompanying Hungary’s best folk singers and/or playing with other great musicians. He plays mainly authentic style traditional music, jazz. He hails from the village of Tótkomlós in Eastern Hungary, presently lives in Budapest. Interview by K. Tóth László – first published in Magyar Nemzet Magazin November 2008.
Page 28 The Gázsa Band was on tour in USA and Canada during the summer of 2008. Travelling with the band was guest musician Székely Levente and dancers from Transylvania: Demeter Erika and Orza Câlin. Gázsa’s band has recently released 2 new recordings; one released in the US by the Csipke Foundation and one in Hungary by the FolkEuropa label entitled: „Ritmus szenvedély” [A Passion for Rhythm]. Report by Papp István Gázsa
Part two of Rajec Molnár Erzsébet “Eli”’s story as told to Kóka Rozália. Continuing on with Hungary’s 1956 revolution and then Eli’s susbsequent escape from Hungary in January of 1957 into Austria where she spent many monthes in refugee camps. She applied to go to the US and finally got to New York after a three week ocean voyage. Her first job was working as a seamstress, she was then admitted to Columbia University. She worked her way through school and then married her fiance – a Slovak refugee, whom she met by chance in New York City.
Savanyú Józsi Hungarian outlaw from Veszprém County. Hungarian outlaws are the subject of tales, legends, ballads... Savanyú Józsi was born in 1841 or ’42 in Izsákfa, Western Hungary. His father was head shepherd. By the time he was about 17, Józsi was already working as a shepherd. Over the years his name was connected with more and more often with all kinds of crime. He was: “short-medium build, had reddish-brown hair, moustache and beard; a pockmarked face, scarred mouth, and a high-pitched almost feminine voice. He spoke Hungarian, German, Slovak, Croatian, could read and write and knew the trades of waiter, butcher, tailor, cobbler (which he probably learned while serving time in jail) he was a bachelor, had no property.” By ethnographer Vas János Panyiga