“A journey in time and space by means of the much-loved Christmas song…”
A Little Christmas
Christmas is the feast of the birth of Christ and a celebration of love, but together with many other countries, we also make merry on the occasion of the winter solstice. With Christmas approaching, the tune of Hungarian Christmas song Kiskarácsony (Little Christmas) came to mind. It is a song everyone sings, but no scholarly writing has yet been devoted to its origins. The eminent ethnographer István Volly, a good acquaintance of Bartók’s and Kodály’s, firmly believed it was a Hungarian tune. It has many tremendously exciting features. I sought to explore this little song and it prompted many ideas on the way. I found that it elicited endless associations and it also transpired it could be linked with other themes and identically or similarly structured songs. The performance calls for a large ensemble, features numerous curious instruments even, and affords an insight into a great many musical styles. If music is an international language, this little song will surely be able to address an Australian and an Inuit and a Pygmy. In any case, if the audiences have just half the fun I did when working on the piece, it was well worth it and hopefully it will contribute to the merry start of the Yuletide season!
Zoltán Kocsis, Christmas 2010