A lecture and concert on Béla Bartók is part of this year’s National Eisteddfod Festival in Wales. The event, which takes place mainly in the Welsh language, is billed as Europe’s largest folk arts festival.
On August 1, the Bela Bartok in Aberystwyth will commemorate the 1922 concert which organizers say will forever be etched in the history of Welsh music. The Hungarian composer first dazzled British audiences 100 years ago in Aberystwyth, mid Wales, just 30 kilometers from Tregaron, venue for this year’s National Eisteddfod. kultura.hu reports.
The Welsh lecture will be given by Rhian Davies, a Montgomery native and musicologist. Participants will also be introduced to a number of Bartók’s masterpieces, performed by Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams. This historical recap of the composer’s special visit was a hit at the National Library of Wales in the spring and at Wales’ oldest classical music event, the Gregynog Festival.
Memorial plaque for János Arany unveiled in the Welsh town of Montgomery
The plaque commemorating János Arany and his poem in Hungarian, English and Welsh was unveiled by Ferenc Kumin, Hungarian Ambassador to London, and Jill Kibble, Mayor of the small Welsh town of less than 1,300 people.Continue Reading
“Forty years ago, as a student in the music department of Aberystwyth University, I first heard of Béla Bartók’s famous visit to the festival, made possible by Sir Henry Walford Davies , the first artistic director of the Gregynog Festival,” said Dr Rhian Davies, adding:
Little did I know then that as the current artistic director of the festival, I would follow in the footsteps of Sir Davies and commemorate this historic moment in an appropriate way on the occasion of the centenary of Bartók’s Concerto.
Davies added that “it was a great honor to work with the greatest Welsh pianist of our time, Llŷr Williams, on this project. Llŷr’s performance will also include some of the repertoire Bartók played in Aberystwyth – but of course we haven’t forgotten the Sonata.
According to Bálint Brunner, founder of the Welsh-Hungarian Cymru Cultural Initiative, this year’s Eisteddfod is an important step in deepening relations between the two countries:
In recent years, the Welsh have shown great interest in Hungarian culture, establishing friendship between the two nations.
There is no better example of this than Hungarian Day at Montgomery in May, where hundreds of Welsh and Hungarian people came together to commemorate the work of János Arany and mark May 14 as Friendship Day. Welsh-Hungarian. In 2011 the festival opened with the first Welsh-language performance of the symphonic work of Sir Karl Jenkins Beirdd Cymru (The Bards of Wales), a Welsh-language symphony by composer Sir Karl Jenkins. And many say that János Arany himself was inspired to write the Montgomery legend by the words of English journalists who mocked the Eisteddfod.
There is another Hungarian side to this year’s festival: Welsh students from the Kodály Violin School in South Wales, who have performed at many Gallo-Hungarian events over the years, including songs well-known Hungarian folklore artists will also perform.