the spring of 1990 one the most important workshops of Hungarian
music history was opened to the Hungarian and foreign visitors.
This is only workshop that has basically remained in a condition
as left by its immortal dweller.
October 1924 till his death in March 1967 Kodály lived
at the Körönd, named after him today. Both the circus,
where the windows look on, and the road with the entrance
to the sector-shaped house have preserved numerous features
of the histoical waves sweeping across Hungary. When the Kodály
family moved here, the road was named after Gyula Andrássy,
the Prime Minister of the 1867 Constitutional Government.
In 1949 the road was renamed to Stalin road and in 1956 to
'Road of the Hungarian Youth'. In 1957 it became the 'People's
Republic Avenue'. During World War II the circus was named
after Hitler. In 1982 its original name was replaced by 'Kodály
Körönd'. This is a miniature Hungarian history in
the light of street plates.
flat consisted of four front rooms with conveniences. The
furnishing was practical rather than luxorious; its individuality
and charm was given by the taste of its residents. The rooms
were decorated with folk ceramics and embroideries, souvenirs
from the folk song collecting trips, and with keepsakes of
the longlasting artistic career; statues, laurel wreaths,
programs of prominent performances abroad, as well as pictures
of the closest family members and contemporary colleagues.
dining room surprises the present day visitor with its puritan
and simple furnishings in Kodály's time, visitors entered
this room just like the museum visitors today. We have to
picture to ourselves the intellectual radience of the hosts
that made this row of rooms a home, a workshop and a safe
resort even in difficult times. At the table there was always
a place for welcome guests, visitors around five in the afternoon
were offered mint tea and cakes. Kodály received less
intimate visitors also at this dinner table, one time covered
with wax-cloth. This is where his first wife, Emma and her
helpers sorted the newspaper cuts and other documents of his
career. After her death, Sarolta Péczely, Kodály's
second wife, continued this work in the same spirit. The collection
compiled in this way served as a basis of the Kodály
Archives, now arranged acording to scientific principles and
of the subsequently connected Memorial Museum founded with
the help of Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute
of Music, Kecskemét.
guests and musicians coming rehearsal were taken to the next
room - a parlor radiating the spirit of 19th century, worth
being painted by Munkácsy. This place was dominated
by two pianos. From above the door a Beethoven mask looked
at the visitors. Around the stove the sculpture portraits
made in various periods by Petri Lajos lived together with
their much vivid, not at all statulike model. Imre Palló,
Mária Basilides, Endre Rösler, Set Svanholm, János
Ferencsik and Erzsi Török had rehearsals here; also
the young Tamás Vásáry and the infant
prodigy, Miklós Perényi played here Kodály-works
to Kodály himself. Valuable photos kept the memory
of Yehudi Menuhin, Aram Khachaturian, József Szigeti,
Pablo Casals and Leopold Stokowski who visited this room in
the last years.
innermost room was the real workshops with its carved desk
and a library covering two walls. Beside the fundamental literature
on music history, ethnography, literary history and Hungaristics
there were also masterpieces of fiction and poetry in Hungarian,
German, French, English, Italian, Latin and Greek languages.
Kodály's violoncello - once in frequent use - was kept
on the top of the cupboard, and a splinter-hit 'wound' on
its body reminded of World War II. The past and the present
of the folk music researcher were evoked here by several folk
music instruments and sound recorders. The desk, the tables
and the chairs were covered with letters and documents, which
are the tools, requisites and intellectual scobs of an animated
former bedroom on the left of the dining-room is used for
the temporary exhibitions of the Museum. The first such exhibition
gives a rich insight into the composer's workshop, showing
for the most part the materials of the Kodály Archives.
Through selected documents it presents the years of preparation,
the major works of certain periods, the masterpieces of various
artistic forms and sometimes the birth process of the works,
even from the very conception. It is also indicated how folk
song research helped the composer, and how the composer directed
his own imagination towards the creation of the 'Singing Hungary'
idea. The visitors can see the manuscripts of popular masterpieces,
never-performed compositions, some of the first and last works,
hastily jotted down notions, as well as final copies of mature
works. In one word, you can find here many things that are
created and issued in a workshop along with those remaining
referred to the Kodály Archives; this is an independent
establishment but also a co-existing institution of the Museum
run under the same roof. Its Primary task is to properly collect,
preserve and register Kodály-documents (manuscripts,
printed scores, photos, sound recordings and motion pictures).
Other purpose of the Archives is to promote and introduce
Kodály-research. The intellectual direction has been
undertaken by Mrs. Kodály Zoltán nee Sarolta
Péczely. The material of the first temporary exhibition
of the Museum comes, in the first place, from the Archives,
thus calling the attention of the public and the researches
to this newly established institution.
back on the road I've passed either in the mountains or in
life was never to my linking. I always looked ahead.' - this
is how Kodály writes in the preface of his collected
writings titled 'Retrospection'. Though we seemingly look
back on the road covered when we visit the exhibition, yet
Kodály's example gives us strength for the prospective
struggle. A struggle for Hungary to be renewed in culture
and humanity - so that we may clearly sing one part of the
'cosmic choral work' of Kodály wich is mottoed:
the Whole World Rejoice!