Chansons and Ballads
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
From 7:30 pmuntil approximately 9:00 pm
Italian Cultural Institute,
HUF 3,500 / 2,500
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Chansons and Ballads

Pászti season ticket 2

Paul Hindemith Six Chansons
Árpád Solti La Loreley
Maurice Ravel Trois chansons
Péter Tóth Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis
György Ligeti Widow Pápai
Lajos Vass Nocturne
Boldizsár Csíky The Great Mountain Thief (Hungarian première)
János Vajda Deux Chansons
Hugo Wolf Der Feuerreiter
Jenő Pertis Two ballads from Háromszék
Dóra Bizják alto
Tamás Dunai narrator
Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Zoltán Kocsis-Holper conductor
Csaba Somos choirmaster

Lyrics of chansons and ballads and poems will be performed by actor Tamás Dunai.


Chanson – the French word might immediately bring to mind an image of a smoky café. A gravelly-voiced singer accompanied by an accordion. Paris, Édith Piaf. But the word can also summon up thoughts of Debussy. He referred to his songs as chansons – as this is the dictionary meaning of the word. A song, or sung text, most often accompanied by a piano.   During the Renaissance, however, the word was used to mean all kinds of secular works: three- or four-part pieces either exclusively for voices or with instruments involved, generally to French text. Even earlier, the troubadours (along with the trouvères of northern France) had referred to their one-part (although with improvised instrumental accompaniment) songs on the theme of love as chansons. What did the word mean to a 20th-century composer, and what does it mean now to a contemporary one? Different things to different people. There is no fixed rule. The same thing is true for ballads, the other genre mentioned in the concert’s title. Chopin referred to piano pieces as ballads. As did Brahms. But first and foremost, there are the folk ballads. “The Ballad of Borbála Angoli” and the like. The famous folk music researcher Lajos Vargyas traced a significant portion of Hungarian folk ballads back to medieval French ballad poems. How did they wind up here, in the Carpathian Basin? The journey was an adventurous one, with a bit of (balladic) murkiness. This fact, however, is hardly likely to trouble listeners.