Béla Kéler: Memory of Bardejov


Artist: Czechoslovak Chamber Duo
Title: Memory of Bardejov, op.31 
Label: Hevhetia 
Composer: Béla Kéler (arr. Pavel Burdych)
Pavel Burdych, violin & Zuzana Berešová, piano

About Memory of Bardejov: 

"The csardas Memory of Bardejov, op.31 includes the most played thematic part of all of Kéler's works. It is the 32 bars which Johannes Brahms used in his Hungarian Dance no. 5 as Kéler originally wrote them. Kéler himself addressed this issue for Hamburg press in 1879: "I have noticed with surprise, that whenever I have performed my Hungarian dance Memory of Bardejov, a question arose as to how my name had appeared under the composition, since people generally presume that the composer of this dance is Johannes Brahms. To stand up to this misbelief, which is widely spread throughout the musical world, and in order to protect my copyright, I am forced to declare that I composed this Hungarian dance in 1858 and also first performed it at that time in Debrecen. In the same year, the dance was published as my piano composition opus 31 by the musical publishing house of Ròzsavölgyi & Co. Sometime around the beginning of 1870, i.e., around 12 years later, Mr. Brahms arranged ten different Hungarian dances, among them, as no. 5, also my above-mentioned dance, for a four-handed piano, and similarly, Mr. Brahms arranged the remaining nine dances for a four handed piano based on piano editions which had already been published by the above mentioned publisher. Although the accolades which Mr. Brahms has received for the arrangements of these Hungarian dances have been recognized in the musical world for a long time, and I, as a Hungarian, appreciate them and value them that much more, it is also necessary to think of the composer of the original melodies according to the old Latin saying: 'Let justice be done, though the world perish ´. Béla Kéler, Hamburg, August 1879."