Kodaly's "complete edition" on Hungaroton: confusing?

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piston
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Kodaly's "complete edition" on Hungaroton: confusing?

Post by piston » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:58 pm

Anything instrumental and orchestral by Kodaly is easily collected on CDs: orchestral works (2 CDs), chamber music (2 CDs), piano music (2 CDs), organ music (1 CD). The complete edition of his art songs fits on 2 CDs. Combined, his stage works --Hary Janos and The Spinning Room-- amount to 3 CDs. Choral works with accompaniment --Psalmus Hungaricus, Missa Brevis, Laudes organi-- 1 more CD. All of this music would fit in a 14-CD boxset.

It's with the choral music that Hungaroton has generated confusion and, in the case of Bicinia Hungarica, disappointment.

There's confusion because the label has identified its Kodaly choral collection as follows:
1. "Choral Music of Kodaly" volumes 1, 2, 3, 6 (female voices), and 7 (children, youth, and female voices). Where's 4 and 5?!
2. "Zoltan Kodaly -- Works for mixed choirs," volumes 1, 2 and 3.
3. "Zoltan Kodaly -- Choral Works for male voices," no number.
and the 3-CD set
4. "Zoltan Kodaly -- Bicinia Hungarica and Tricinia (complete)," no number.

It's a real numbering mess, rendered all the more problematic by the mention of "excerpts" to books 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Bicinia Hungarica on the back of the supposedly "complete" 3-CD set... I'm also disappointed with this set because there was no attempt on the part of the label to organize this magnum opus for choral music education on the basis of any degree of difficulty, such as with Bartok's Mikrokosmos. There's no logical progression from easy pieces to more difficult ones, or from ten-second choral works to three-minute ones.

But even though Bicinia is incomplete, you can see that a "complete edition" of Kodaly's music might amount to a 30-CD boxset with more unaccompanied choral music than anything else.

Anyone here has managed to collect all of Kodaly's work?
Last edited by piston on Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: Kodaly's "complete edition" on Hungaroton: confusing?

Post by piston » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:01 pm

I neglected to mention that there are also two Hungaroton labels, Hungaroton and Hungaroton classics, with the latter also offering choral music by the composer.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: Kodaly's "complete edition" on Hungaroton: confusing?

Post by piston » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:16 pm

Whether it is ever possible to record all of Kodaly's choral music work, much of which he never intended for performance and expressly said so, I stand in awe at this man's grasp of what we call today "child development." In fact, both Kodaly and Bartok, in all their greatness, applied themselves to reach out to children and youth without ever leaving the impression that this was a one-time exercise in artistic "simplicity." Kodaly may have been better than Bartok at this sort of "outreach." When you listen to Binicia Hungarica, it's amazing how much he taps into childhood feelings by immersing himself into their world in an enormous range of experiences. Hungaroton's incomplete Binicia has got over two hundred tracks of choral music for children, with everything from looking at a tree for the first time to being an orphan, not to mention various episodes in the child's growth and experience of society. Perhaps most Hungarian children did not have access to a piano or any other instrument but they certainly had access to a lot of Kodaly songs.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Kodaly's "complete edition" on Hungaroton: confusing?

Post by Lance » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:45 pm

I have about 65 discs with something on them by Kodály, probably much duplication with some of his more popular works. But I seriously doubt I have the preponderance of much of his recorded output. Too bad Hungarton has botched this job on a complete edition. Usually the label does outstanding work in both, their recording quality and presentations.
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