Zoltan Kodaly

Zoltan Kodaly

Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967), prominent Hungarian composer and musician, directed a significant portion of his creative endeavors to the musical education of the Hungarian nation-an interest which developed over many years. Such efforts were initiated with the folk song collection beginning in 1905. As he became aware of the great need to improve the quality of singing and music training of teachers and children alike, he began composing for children's choruses in the 1920's and required his composition students to do the same. Folk music provided inspiration, as well as the musical basis, for many of the compositions. By 1929 he was determined to reform the teaching of music and to make it an integral part of the education of every child.

In a lecture on children's choirs in 1929, he said, "Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil;instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime… If the child is not filled at least once by the lifegiving stream of music during the most susceptible period-between his sixth and sixteenth years-it will hardly be of any use to him later on. Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance, it is the duty of the school to provide it. "

Kodály believed that music is meant to develop one's entire being-personality, intellect and emotions. He said, "… music is a spiritual food for everybody. So I studied how to make more people accessible to good music." (Kodály, 1966) Kodály realized this was part of everyone's basic heritage and was necessary for human development and should be started at as early an age as possible. Jenö Adám, an early and prominent colleague of Kodály, stated, "The most important thing is to actualize the instinctive love of the child for singing and playing, to realize the changing of his moods through the songs, his feelings, his experiences … in other words, to bring about the miracle of music."


Danish National Radio Choir: Kodaly - Missa Brevis

Missa brevis' (8 Movements)
Jezus es a kufarok (Jesus and the traders)
Este (Evening)
Matrai Kepek (Matra pictures/5 Movements) 

Zoltan Kodaly is best known for his research of folk music and his contribution to the field of music education. A large part of his output is concentrated in the area of choral music. The four works heard on this recording come from the early third of the twentieth century. The Missa Brevis for chorus, alto, tenor, bass solos and organ, is the latest of these pieces and was expanded from his Mass for solo organ. Matrai kepek (Matra pictures) is a set of five pieces which are based on Hungarian folk songs from the Matra region ordered to form a narrative thread. Kodaly's music is dramatic with colorful writing.

7328c CD $15.98

Hungarian Radio and Television Chorus: Choral Music of Kodaly 1

Hymn of Zrinyl
Jesus and the traders
The aged
Norwegian girls
Too late
Ade to Liszt 


7759 CD $15.98

Budapest Girls' Chorus & others: Choral Music of Kodaly 3

To the hungarians
National Song
Soldier's Song
Battle Song
Wish for Peace 0 The year 1801
The Hymn of Liberty
Geneva Psalm CL
I will go look for Death
The Forgotten Song of Balint Balassi
Ode to Ferenc Liszt
Molnar Anna
Orphan am I
Songs from Karad
The Peacock 

Review pending.

7758 CD $15.98

Cantemus Children's Choir: Choral Music of Kodaly 7

See the gypsies
Evening song
Seven easy children's choruses
Dancing song
Stork song
Hippity, hoppity
Six humorous canons
Honey, honey
King Laszlo's men
Gypsy lament
Cohors generosa
Horatii carmen
Greeting on St John's Day
St Gregory's Day
Geneva Psalm CL
A Christmas carol
Hymn to St Stephen
Angels and shepherds


7757 CD $15.98

St Thomas Choir of Men and Boys: Kodaly - Vaughan Williams

 Missa Brevis:
Introitus - Maestoso
Kyrie - Andante
Gloria - Allegro
Credo - Allegro moderato
Sanctus - Larghetto
Bendictus - Tranquillos
Agnus - Adagio
Ite, missa est - Maestoso
Mass in G Minor
Kyrie - Slow
Gloria in excelsis - Moderato
Credo - Con moto
Sanctus, Osanna I - Lento, Moderato maestoso
Benedictus, Osanna II - Moderato tranquillo, Moderato maestoso
Agnus Dei - Moderato

Hungary's Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) and England's Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958 ) were contemporaries who composed beautiful, dramatic Christian sacred music. NYC's Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys brings us examples of the best work of the two men, the 8 movements of Kodaly's "Missa Brevis" and the 6 movements of Williams' "Mass in G Minor." Now 75 years old, the Mass has long been a masterpiece of the first order, calling for no formal analysis. An extraordinary interplay of solo voices and choir, this powerful revival of Tudor church music places the listen at the very center of a medieval cathedral choir. "Missa Brevis," written by Kodaly in the middle of WWII, is a dramatic sacred piece that carries us aloft with the main theme of the Kyrie, finally bringing us back to a quieter space with "Sanctus Larghetto," "Benedictus—Tranquillo, Larghetto. Beautiful, stunning music performed by the pride of New York City, the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys.

6920 CD $15.98

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