Hungarian Goulash à la wcf

Jun 5, 2018

Credit wcfsymphony

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features wcfsymphony’s “The Hungarian Project” concert. The orchestra performs works by Brahms, Bartók, and Kodály.

This concert focuses on music from Hungary, featuring Bartók’s Divertimento. Bartók lived in Europe during World War II and was a very vocal opponent for fascism. During that time, he was given an opportunity to live in the Swiss mountains, and he did so, allowing himself to compose peacefully. It was there that he composed Divertimento. After its premiere, he fled for the US and never returned to Europe.

Divertimento seems to be a reflection of Bartók’s life. The first and third movements are both dancelike and somewhat peaceful, possibly reflecting his life in the Swiss mountains. Meanwhile, the second movement is dark and tragic, potentially emulating how he felt about the events occurring throughout the war. Bartók and Kodály were two of the biggest figures in Hungarian music in the 1900s. Both composers used Hungarian folksong as the basis of their music. In addition to composing, Kodály invented music education methods that are still used today. Also featured on this concert is Brahms’ Hungarian Dances 1,3 & 10 and Kodály’s Dances of Galanta. Don’t miss this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast on Sunday, June 10th at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, June 11th at 7 p.m.!


JOHANNES BRAHMS                                       Hungarian Dances 1,3 & 10

BÉLA BARTÓK                                                     Divertimento

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY                                               Dances of Galanta]