Im Volkston: The Central-Eastern European Folk Influence on Works by Select Austro-Hungarian composers
Stevans, Joy Marya
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This recital series showcases the elements of cultural diversity and blending present in art music stemming from the dual monarchy of Austro-Hungary. Works by these Austro-Hungarian composers and others are well-established as part of the traditionally taught classical canon of Western art music. Most instrumentalists study their works in conservatory and perform them frequently in concert. However, due to the perceived difficulty of the original languages and lack of resources for style and diction, much of their vocal repertoire is infrequently studied or performed in the US. This project addresses this omission by introducing some of this beautiful and little-known vocal repertoire to the artistic community in the original languages, and with attention to the style and cultural background of these unique pieces. Within the series of three, the first recital program consists of Bartók and Kodály's settings of Hungarian folksongs in the original Hungarian. The second program is comprised of vocal music influenced by the folk style of the "Gypsy"/Roma community present in many areas of Austro-Hungary, and originally composed in German for the concert hall format. The third program consists of Dvoøák, Janáèek and Smetana's art music influenced by Czech folk-song, poetry and culture and presented in the original Czech dialects. This series of recitals provides an enlightening musical, historical and linguistic journey through the synthesis of Central Eastern-European folk elements and Western art music.