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UNTIL quite recent years most people's knowledge of modern Hungarian music
.was largely confined to that of Liszt, Korbay, and. a few other composers.
Most of these wore active in preserving, and often in using in their works, the songs of the gypsies. Most of the leading Hungarian composers of to-day, it is interesting to note, are equally solicitous for the preservation of folk-songs ; they go back, however, to an earlier folk-music than that of the gypsies, and base a good deal of their music on these melodies, many of which they found among the Slavs and Roiunanians, as well as among the Magyars. Bela Bartok (born 1881) and Zoltan Kodaly (1882), two of the chief composers of modern Hungary, were loaders in the new campaign, and both have collected large numbers of folk-tunes, Kodaly alone having taken down from the lips of peasants over three thousand five hundred such songs. The idiom of both has largely grown out of that of folk-melody, though both have a strongly individual style.
Kodaly has also been influenced first by Brahms, and then by Debussy. Works of his already heard in this country include a Sonata for 'Cello alone (Op. 8), a Duet for Violin and 'Cello (Op. 7), a Trio for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 12)- and a String Quartet (Op. 2).
This Serenade, one of- the composer's most attractive works, is cast in three Movements. The First and Last have a certain simplicity and winsomeness that remind us of the folk-speech. The lively Last Movement, in particular, shows how healthy and invigorating the influence of that idiom can be. The Slow Movement consists of a conversation between First Violin and Viola, while the Second Violin keeps up a soft background of murmuring tone.


Unknown: Bela Bartok
Unknown: Zoltan Kodaly

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