Home Slovenská hudba 2013 Slovenská hudba, Vol. 39, No 4, p.359-365

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Slovenská hudba, Vol. 39, No 4, p.359-365

Title: Ernő Lendvai a jeho súčasníci. Počiatky hudobnej analýzy v Maďarsku (1921 – 1955)
Author: Anna Dalos


Ernő Lendvai and his Contemporaries. The Beginnings of Music Analysis in Hungary (1921 – 1955)

The Bartók interpretations of the music theoretician Ernő Lendvai (1925 – 1993) played a significant part in the formation of thinking about Bartók and new music in general in Hungary. Lendvai’s first book entitled Bartók’s Style and published in 1955 gave rise to violent debates among musicians. Moreover, his analytical methods and poetic explanations have continued to divide the community of musicians in Hungary to this day. Representatives of the ‘official’ musicology led by Bence Szabolcsi (1899 – 1973), the father figure of Hungarian musicology, rejected Lendvai’s theory from the beginning, while music teachers and composers regarded it as an inevitable point of departure of their Bartók-understanding. Hungarian composers such as Endre Szervánszky (1911 – 1977), Pál Járdányi (1920 – 1966), or the young György Ligeti (1923 – 2006) used Bartók’s Style as a textbook showing them how to compose up-to-date and, at the same time, analytically controlled music of equal or, what is more, considerably higher rank than contemporary Western serialism, though it is based on ‘natural laws’.
My paper aims at demonstrating the music political situation and the underlying jockeying for positions that led to the so called ‘Lendvai-affair’, that is to the musicologists’ refusal of Lendvai’s theory. Besides, I would like to answer the following questions: 1) what kind of role did the analysis, notably the analysis of contemporary music and Bartók, play in Hungarian musicological literature, above all in the writings of Kodály’s pupils (György Kerényi, Antal Molnár, István Szelényi) before Lendvai’s appearance and 2) which were the original features of Lendvay’s theory making it suitable for a starting-point of the Hungarian composers’ experiments with new music?

Year: 2014, Volume: 39, Issue: 4 Page From: 359, Page To: 365

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