Concert performance, in Hungarian, with Hungarian and English surtitlesOn 15 March 1948, the great Hungarian centenary day, the world premiere of emblematic composer Zoltán Kodály’s third musical piece for the stage was cancelled under circumstances that have been impossible to reconstruct ever since. But we do know that the performance turned out to be controversial, as only half of the piece was performed, even though the communist euphoria over the “year of the turning point” and its terror just starting to operate at full speed should have been enough to make the party elite, including secretary general Mátyás Rákosi, be able to behave in a cultured manner at the Opera House. (The comrades were said to have grown too drunk during the intermission, and this is why the performance was never completed.) Of course, we cannot exclude the possibility that Canticum Rákóczianum (Czinka Panna), with its run of only a night and a half, and based on Béla Balázs’s story of the Gypsy violinist girl and the brigadier Ocskay during the era of the Rákóczi war of independence, might have been compared to the standards of Háry János and The Spinning Room. Nevertheless, it seems impossible not to find Kodály’s genius in the solo and choral movements.On the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death and as part of the Opera's Hungarian Season, it is obligatory, and even seems like a source of historical satisfaction to resurrect the score to this abruptly discarded singspiel and record it.
Kodály: Canticum Rákóczianum (Czinka Panna)
Featuring: the Chorus, Orchestra and soloists of the Hungarian State Opera