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When it comes to music, people in Hungary think they are European

When it comes to music, people in Hungary think they are European

NSSometimes people think big about Hungary. Then one tries to deal with the mass tragedies of the country even for individual incidents in daily life, as Mohaj quotes, the little spot in southern Hungary where the Ottomans conquered in 1526 and established their illegitimate rule. Or one remembers Trianon, where treaties were concluded in 1920 that created a new state reality that was associated with great territorial losses for Hungary. Writer Peter Esterhazy also had a big idea when he called his family’s record “Harmonia Caelestis”; Not without slight sarcasm, he got stuck in his throat shortly before finishing work when he learned of his father’s involvement in the machinations of the Hungarian secret police, and was forced to give The Chronicle an “improved version” with extracts from the currently available Agent Reports to attach.

At the Haydneum Festival, now held over four days in Budapest and at the Esterháza Palace near Fertőd, not far from Lake Neusiedl, one was involuntarily reminded of the traditions of Hungary’s great ideas. For with the name of Joseph Haydn the heavenly harmonies and glorious times of the Habsburg monarchy are connected with that loyal noble family of Esterházys, in whose service the composer worked for thirty years. The cultural initiative is by no means intended to be just another music festival among the many in Budapest’s Music City. Haydneum is viewed as a national project with appropriate state support: as a center for early music with annual concerts, archive, research and educational facility, scholarly publications and sound recordings; At the same time integrated into a network of already existing cultural institutions.

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As the center’s initiator, the intrepid conductor and president of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, György Vashige, must have paraphrased a sentence from Peter Esterhazy that was provocative to ideologists: “The writer should not think in terms of people and nation, but in terms of subject and predicate.” The senses, now called specialists of early music from Germany and France for the first music festival, knowing full well that what is considered the subject and underpinning of the historically enlightened performance practice, the early Hungarian musical movement, for which he himself provided important impulses, still has some catching up to do, though the Capella Savaria, With superstars like Nicholas McGuigan, she once belonged to the pioneers of historical performance practice east of the Iron Curtain in the 1980s.


Christophe Rousset (right) rehearsing for the opening of Haydneum.
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Photo: willow wax


So far no Hungarian has been appointed as artistic director of the Haydneum, but French musicologist Benoît Dratwicki, who also heads the Center de Musique Baroque Versailles and is one of the most respected music experts of the 17th and 18th centuries. After all, Haydneum wants not only to rediscover or revive Hungarian music, but also music that was played in Hungary and at the court of Prince Esterházy, where not only Haydn’s works were heard at that time, but also contemporary music, regardless of origin composers. Really a European style idea.