The Modern Age

twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Zoltan Kodaly



The son of a stationmaster, Zoltan Kodaly spent his early years living in rural Hungary, where he taught himself to play the piano, violin, viola, and cello and had his first contact with folk music. At the age of 18 he went to Budapest University to read Hungarian and German, and also studied at the Academy of Music. While studying in Berlin and Paris in 1906 and 1907 Kodaly discovered the music of Claude Debussy.

His interest in folk songs led to a close collaboration and friendship with Bartok, of which he later remarked: "The vision of an educated Hungary, reborn from the people, rose before us. We decided to devote our lives to its realization."

Kodaly was appointed professor at the Budapest Academy in 1907, and over the next decade produced chamber and vocal music, and continued research into folklore. He fell foul of the authorities after the short-lived bourgeois revolution of 1919, but his fortunes improved with the great success of his Psalmus Hungaricus, premiered in 1923 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Budapest.

The opera Hary Janos, and the suite derived from it, further established Kodaly's international reputation. With these pieces, as well as the Dances of Marosszek from 1927, the Dances of Galanta of 1933 and the orchestral variations on the Hungarian folk song The peacock, Kodaly extended his use of folk material and resources: the Hary Janos suite introduced the cimbalom, a unique Hungarian instrument; the Dances of Galanta evoked the sounds of the gypsy bands Kodaly remembered from his boyhood.

This international success did not diminish the energy and intensity of Kodaly's efforts to guide the Hungarian populace towards musical literacy. He regarded singing rather than instrumental performance as the key to musicianship, and composed innumerable choruses and choral exercises based on folk song that he presented to choirs all over the country.

Kodaly's public esteem was sometimes overshadowed by tension with the authorities, and his Missa Brevis was completed in 1944 in the cellar of a convent where he and his wife were seeking refuge. In the years following the war, he made triumphant conducting trips to Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union, and received a constant stream of honours in recognition of the breadth of his musical activities. Kodaly's energies as both composer and musical ambassador continued undiminished through the latter years of his long life. He lived to see two of his long-standing ambitions under way: the publication of a scholarly edition of Hungarian folk music, and the introduction of elementary music education in schools, following his principles.


Zoltan Kodaly



Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967)



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