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Cat. No. CHAN 9754 Price: Ł10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9754 - Kodaly: Missa Brevis
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Available From: 16 September 1999
Mátrai Képek (Mátra Pictures), composed in 1931, employs five folk songs from the mountainous Mátra district of Hungary, which Kodály orders so as to provide a narrative thread throughout. It is dramatic and colourful choral writing, and within the variation from inherent in such settings of folk melodies. Kodály injects enormous emotional contrasts. Jézus é a kufárok (Jesus and the Traders) sets texts from the gospels of John, Mark and Luke. Here, Kodály provides a vivid musical portrayal of the various texts. In some places the harmony is dictated by polyphonic movement; in others he employs astringent dissonances for expressive purpose.

In 1944 whilest in hiding from occupying German forces, Kodály adapted his Mass for solo organ (1942) into the Missa brevis for choir and organ. There is a close partnership between choir and organ throughout the whole piece, with the organ often doubling the choral parts. In the Kyrie, the music ranges from dark and brooding to ethereal; the Gloria ranges from Jubilant and forceful choral writing to a passage for soloists of almost baroque pathos while the Credo displays characteristics of both Gregorian chant and Hungarian folksong.

Kodály composed Este (Evening) in 1904, shortly after gaining his composition diploma. It was his first published work. He combines his characteristic blend of impressionistic non-functional harmony with dazzling choral effects.

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