Mihály Mosonyi

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Mosonyi, Mihály


(real name, Michael Brand). Born Sept. 2, 1815, in the village of Boldogasszonyfalva, Hungary, presentday Frauenkirchen, Austria; died Oct. 31, 1870, in Pest. Hungarian composer and music critic.

Mosonyi was of German origin, but he was a staunch Hungarian patriot (in 1859 he adopted his Hungarian surname). He studied music independently, consulting with musicians of Poz-sony (Pressburg; present-day Bratislava) and Vienna. In 1842, Mosonyi settled in Pest (which in 1872 became part of Budapest), where he was active in the city’s musical life. He was a member of various committees and choral societies and was one of the founders (1860) and foremost contributor to the first Hungarian music newspaper, Zenészeti Lapok, wherein he polemized in favor of new music in the national style.

Mosonyi made his debut in 1844 with his First Symphony. His early works imitated the German romantic composers; his opera Kaiser Max (1857) had a German libretto. His mature works were written in the national musical style. Along with F. Liszt and F. Erkel, Mosonyi was one of the founders of the Hungarian national school of music.

Mosonyi wrote a number of works based on Hungarian folk music, in which he combined national melodies and rhythms with the style of the German romantic composers. These works include two operas on subjects drawn from Hungarian history, Szép lion (Pretty Helen) (1860) and Almos (1862); cantatas (1860, 1869,1870); works for orchestra, including Funeral Music for the Death of István Széchenyi (1860), Homéd (1860), and Festival Music; and works for piano, including Hungarian Children ’s World (1851) and Studies for Developing the Performance of Hungarian Music (1861).

Mosonyi was one of the first to use verbunkos (a style of Hungarian instrumental music) in operatic and symphonic music. Among his other works are masses, choruses, chamber instrumental ensembles, songs to the words of S. Petőfi and other Hungarian poets, as well as songs with lyrics by N. Lenau and H. Heine. Mosonyi wrote an arrangement of the “Marseillaise” for chorus and orchestra.


Szabolcsi, B. A. XIX. század magyar romantikus zenéje. Budapest, 1951.
Bonis, F. Mosonyi Mihály. Budapest, 1960.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
The strength of musical observations and linkages is much more compelling in chapter 3, in which Schneider marches resolutely through Hungarian cultural history beginning with national poet Sandor Petofi (1823-1849) and Mihaly Mosonyi identifying literary and sonic images of the Great Hungarian Plain.