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Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest Zeneműkiadó Ltd.

Kodály Zoltán: Adagio

per viola e orchestra d'archi

score and parts

Arranged by Sulyok Imre
Setting: Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Duration: 9'
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest
Item number: K-30
Adagio is one of Kodály's earliest compositions, being written in 1905 during his studies at the Academy of Music in Budapest. It was originally composed for violin and piano, then in 1910 Kodály transcribed it for viola and, respectively, for cello and piano. The popularity of the work is shown by the fact that it has an arrangement for violin and chamber orchestra, a version for viola and string orchestra by Imre Sulyok, all created with the composer's approval.

As Kodály confessed later: '”it is a very old work of mine; it was composed at a time when I did not know anything about folk songs, nothing more than was in the air and got to the surface - thus any conclusion could be drawn from this; how I would have composed later if, for example, I did not go to the country, or if there were no folk songs or I did not get in contact with them. Nothing of Hungarian folk music can be seen in this Adagio yet.'

At the same time quite a few stylistic characteristics of the future composer are apparent, especially in the fabric but perhaps also in sonority, harmonies and tonality. Although it would be difficult to prove, he probably knew something of Debussy's art, which became so important for him as well as for Bartók a few years later almost at the same time when discovering folk song. The form has a simple triple division - a frequent structure in his later works. In this respect Kodály was a composer with a classicising disposition who was strongly attached to traditions. (András Wilheim)