Ferenc Erkel

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Erkel, Ferenc


Born Nov. 7, 1810, in Gyula; died June 15, 1893, in Budapest. Hungarian composer, conductor, teacher, and figure in the music world.

Erkel studied under H. Klein in Pozsony (now Bratislava). From 1828 to 1835 he was in Kolozsvár (now Cluj), where he taught and, in 1830, was a bandmaster. In 1835 he took up residence in Budapest, where from 1838 to 1890 he served as the principal conductor and music director of the National Theater. He was appointed music director of the Philharmonic Society in 1853 and of the National Hungarian Association of Choral Singers in 1868. From 1875 to 1889 he served as principal and professor of piano at the National Academy of Music in Budapest; F. Liszt was the academy’s president.

Erkel was the founder of the Hungarian national opera. Most of his operatic works are based on tragic episodes in the struggle to liberate Hungary from its conquerers, the most important being the heroic lyric operas Hunyadi László (1844) and Bánk ban (1852; staged: Pest, 1861; Moscow, 1957; Novosibirsk, 1958), which gained great popularity among the composer’s contemporaries. Several melodies from these operas, some set to new lyrics, became mass songs that were sung during the revolutionary popular demonstrations of 1848–49 and 1918–19.

Erkel achieved a synthesis of contemporary Western European opera and traditional Hungarian music, making use of the verbunkos (dance) style and Hungarian folk melodies. Among his other operas—he composed a total of nine—are Báton Mária (1840), Dósza György (1867), and two comic operas. Erkel also composed the Festival Overture (1887), works for the piano, incidental music for “popular plays” (népszinmü), and choral works, notably “Hymnusz,” the Hungarian national anthem (1844).


Szabolcsi, B. Istoriia vengerskoi muzyki. Budapest, 1964. Pages 71–74. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Maróthy, J. “Put’ Erkelia ot geroiko-liricheskoi opery k kriticheskomu realizmu.” In Muzyka Vengrii. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Abrányi, K. Erkel Ferenc élete és müködése. Budapest, 1895.
Legány, D. Erkel Ferenc miüvei és korabeli történetük. Budapest, 1972.


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Between February 8 and 13, in six performances in three venues, it will play national gems: the Laszlo Hunyadi opera by Ferenc Erkel, and the ballet version of famous operetta by Franz Lehar, The Merry Widow (Vesela vdova).
The most significant operatic composer in Hungary in the nineteenth century was the principal conductor of the new National Theatre, Ferenc Erkel, whose Bank ban (based on a banned play about a thirteenth century revolt against the queen's court) has survived as the most famous Hungarian opera from that century.
In chapter 3, "Tradition Transformed," Schneider traces the development of a previously unknown topos in nineteenth-century art music, the Hungarian pastoral nocturne, from nineteenth-century Hungarian musical pioneers Mihaly Mosonyi (1815-1870) and Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893) through composers active in the years immediately before and during Bartok's career, including Jeno Hubay (1858-1937), Arpad Szendy (1863-1922), and Erno Dohnanyi (1877-1960); to Bartok, who in his "night music"--the best-known exemplars of which are "Az ejszaka zeneje" [The Night's Music] from his piano suite Out of Doors (1926) and the central third movement of his String Quartet no.
Screenplay, Gabor Meszoly, based on the opera by Ferenc Erkel, libretto by Beni Egressy, play by Jozsef Katona.
A more ambitious project was launched in 2010 for the Ferenc Erkel bicentenary: a complex website (erkel.
Opposition MP Andras Toth went to court last week to stop the flow of state money into the production of "Bank Ban," a feature film version of the Ferenc Erkel opera, after Toth obtained a leaked document that alleges producers are skimming off the top of the $2.
Inspired by the 200th anniversary of the death of Ferenc Erkel, founder of the Hungarian national opera, the Institute for Musicology and the National Szechenyi Library will co-organize another large-scale exhibition this autumn titled Opera and Nation.
Liszt's relationships with other composers are more difficult to trace from this collection; Williams has included only one or two letters to individual composers, among them Fryderyk Chopin, Edvard Grieg, Bedrich Smetana, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Rubinstein, Alexander Borodin, Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Carl Reinecke, Camille Saint-Saens, and Ferenc Erkel.
Hofoperndirektor," Auftakt 16 [1936]: 7-11, 63-67, 183-88; Ferenc Bonis's "Gustav Mahler und Ferenc Erkel," Studia Musicologica 1 [1961]: 475-85; and Teno Mohacsi's "Gustav Mahler in Budapest," Moderne Welt 3 [1921-22]: 27 ff).