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 Post subject: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:44 am 
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I went to the library last year and was looking for some piano literature I had never heard of before. I found a small book called Twelve Little Pieces by Zoltán Kodály (the inventor of the "Kodály method") (1882-1967). Scanned No. 4, 5, and 6 and have since played them, hopefully they sound ok. Recordings are digitally rendered (though midi recording of each performance was not edited) They are extremely short, and I suspect they will only give you a little taste of Kodály's genius. The longest (the andantino) runs just over half a minute. Another name for this set is "Tizenket kis Darab."

Historically speaking, from what my music history professor has said, Kodály is typically mentioned in the same sentence as Bartók. From what I understand, both were interested in and collected Hungarian Folk Tunes from the people of Hungary. I think you will hear the similarity, between some of Béla's piano pieces and Zoltan's. A quick look on the main site confirms that Kodály does not have a page. So if these recordings are accepted I reckon they will have to be filed under various. Hope you can enjoy. All pieces are in 2/4 without key signatures.

~Riley

Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 1 "Allegretto"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 2 "Allegretto"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 3 "Vivace"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 4 "Allegro cantabile"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 5 "Comodo"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 6 "Andantino"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 7 "Allegretto"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 8 "Allegretto"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 9 "Andantino"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 10 "Vivace"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 11 "Giocoso"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces, No. 12 "Allegretto"
Kodaly - Twelve Little Pieces - Complete set

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:53 am 
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We should definitely have some Kodaly on the site. He wrote not much for piano but what he wrote was quite substantial, and I would like to give him a page as I consider him an important composer. I've heard most of his piano works, and played some, but had not heard these pieces, they are very tiny indeed, not unlike Bartok's For Children. You play them well enough but you can make a bit more of them yet. Add some phrasing, dynamics and subtle rubato, and most important, do not let the LH drown out the song in the RH. Why not set yourself the task of really perfecting these, maybe record them all and provide a complete set ? It would be a great addition to the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:23 am 
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I have completed the set today. I must admit I am somewhat proud of myself :P

For one thing, it is the first time I have a complete recording of a set of pieces by a composer and also probably the first time I have played a piece without before listening first to a recording. And this is a very rudimentary suite, so I can't give myself too much credit :wink: Interesting note about this set, I have looked far and wide (youtube, naxos, you name it) and have not been able to find any pieces (not to mention the cs) from this work of Kodály's.

The full title is "Tizenket Kis Darab - Zongorara" (that is, "Twelve Little Pieces for Piano) The edition is Editio Musica Budapest.

There are some strange pieces in this set that I cannot fully comprehend harmonically. They were fun to play, somewhat like Bartok's "First Term," or "Children." One could say it does not help that some of these pieces are a mere 8 bars long :lol: In this set, a pianist will find three bar repeats and one measure endings and (2p). I do not understand it, does anyone know what (2p) means?

I have rerecorded 4, 5, and 6 so as to incorporate more rubato and phrasing as Chris has suggested. Hopefully you can tell :) Again, the midi's have not been edited.

Here are the recordings:

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:32 am 
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Maybe 2p=pp?

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:52 am 
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2p usually means 2 pianos. Maybe Kodaly intended for a teacher to play along, as Bartok did in some of his Mikrokosmos pieces ?

I've listened through the CS track and you play them all very nicely I think. I don't know the pieces and have not consulted the score but it sounds as if you are observing any directions that may be there.

I'm not sure one should attempt to make more of these pieces than they are. Them being so tiny, it's probably sufficient to simply render them as accurately and sympathetically as possible. That is what I aimed for in my For Children sets (though some of those go way beyond the educational and call for inspiration). Some of the pieces here also go a little further, pity they are so short. The balance is good though you could still work on making the LH less prominent when the RH has the melody. And maybe make a little more variety between different pieces. But all said, it's a good job, and I like it that you really care for these simple songs (whereas so many aspiring young pianists are only interested in bashing out difficult
Chopin and Liszt pieces).

I'll re-listen with score later to make sure all is exemplary here before putting them on the site. I think it is, but I feel no anomalies are allowed in a case like this, they should be demonstration quality. PS is where parents should send their kids to listen to stuff they are going to play :D

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:07 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I'll re-listen with score later to make sure all is exemplary here before putting them on the site. I think it is, but I feel no anomalies are allowed in a case like this, they should be demonstration quality. PS is where parents should send their kids to listen to stuff they are going to play :D


Agree 100% :!:

And Riley, you know the 'rule' about submitting a new composer, right? :P :wink: :)

Also, can you please list the tempo markings for all twelve pieces?

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:34 am 
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Thanks for the feedback Eddy, Monica and Chris.

I'm starting to believe now "2p" means 2 pianos. There is a piece in the set, no. 11, where two notes (one per hand) are written a Major 2nd away from eachother. Because this is unusual, writing so close, I could imagine a teacher playing the left hand on one piano and the student playing the melody on his or her own piano. Maybe this is the "Kodály method" :roll: If this is true, I have not followed the directions :x .

About what you say Chris, I agree I could definitely make the melody sound more and the left hand less prominent. There are parts in no. 2 where I repedaled from beat 1 to 2 in the last bar, and listening back it sounds annoying to me. Though the notes sound strange to me, so maybe it's annoying anyway you slice it :roll:

I like the idea that parents would send their kids to pianosociety to listen to piece they will play. Maybe this should be enumerated as a mission statement on the main page! :lol:

About what you say Monica, I assume you are asking me to write a bio on Kodály? How's this:

[picture]

Zoltán Kodály was born in Kecskemét, Hungary. He grew up in Galánta where he started playing the violin and sang in the cathedral choir. He would spend his time in the cathedral library where many scores were at his disposal.

In 1897, at the age of 15, Kodály composed a piece for orchestra and his school's orchestra performed it. Three years later Kodály was accepted into the Liszt Music Academy.

1905 would prove to be an important year for Kodály. It was this year that he would meet his first wife and Béla Bartók. Kodály's career would closely follow Bartók's. The next year both enrolled at The Academy of Music at Budapest to study composition. With a mutual interest in Hungarian folk-songs, the two would take trips to the Hungarian countryside and record melodies of kinsman and country folk.

Kodály's contribution to music is immense. His "Kodály method" is based on a method that stresses the importance of vocal training through solfege and hand signal comprehension.

Kodály is mainly known for his Choral and Chamber Music, though his piano literature has its place in modern performance repertoire.

Kodály spent most of his life in Hungary, but visted the United States twice. He remarried a year after Emma, his first wife died in 1958. In 1967 Kodály had the 2nd of two hard attacks and did not recover. Though he is gone, his music remains important to the people of Hungary and those of nations all around the world.


The source material is mosty international kodaly society (http://www.iks.hu) my textbook "music in western civ" by simms and wright and wikipedia.


And here are the tempo markings for the set:

1.Allegretto
2.Allegretto
3.Vivace
4.Allegretto Cantabile
5.Comodo
6.Andantino
7.Allegretto
8.Allegretto
9.Andantino
10.Vivace
11.Giocoso
12.Allegretto

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:41 am 
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Ok, Riley, these are up on the site. I put the 12 individual files as well as the whole set. Thank you for the bio and photo.
And congratulations on your first "COMPLETE SET" ! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Haha, so much for me checking these against the score. I don't have the score, neither does any of the sites I know about :shock:
Well it sounded all good and reliable to me, so let's get on with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoltán Kodály - Twelve Little Pieces
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:14 am 
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@ Monica

Your welcome, and thanks for putting these up ! And thanks for the congrats. Complete sets are fun, but this is not a huge set. I am still in shock that you have completed all of the Chopin Mazurkas :o that "complete set" includes more pieces and longer pieces, which through listening I gather are of some difficulty :roll: .

@ Chris

Thanks for the compliment, I am thinking about scanning the score someday and putting it into a video. Someday.. Then you will be able to judge how reliable they actually are :oops: :)

~Riley

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