Marosszék Dances

Kodály was chiefly inspired to arrange for orchestra his piano work Dances of Marosszék when, following the Milan world première of Psalmus Hungaricus, world-famous conductor Arturo Toscanini decided to include a new work of his on his repertoire. The orchestrated version received its first performance on 28 November 1930 at the Dresden Opera House, with Fritz Busch conducting the Sächsische Staatskapelle.

In his preface to the full score, Zoltán Kodály wrote, “It is perhaps no accident that most of the old folk-dance music has been preserved unto our days in the district of Marosszék and that some pieces are called ‘Marosszéki’ even in other regions.” Indeed, curiously enough, the work does lack dances collected in Marosszék; however, in terms of genre and dance typology, they are “Marosszék” dances. Kodály arranged the dances in varied rondo form, where the varied recapitulations of the rondo theme frame three episodes (fast–slow–fast), with a sparkling finale rounding off the work.