I stay yours / Ich bleibe dein
Lullaby / Schlummerlied, op. 10
Evening prayer / Abendgebeth
Without you / Ohne Dich
Song of count O`Donnell /
vom Grafen O´Donnell
A sound from your voice /
Ein Ton aus deiner Kehle, op.9
Ein Ton aus deiner Kehle, op.9
Oh darling, when I am with you /
Ach Liebste wenn ich bei Dir bin, op. 103
Looking gently into your lovely eyes /
Schau dir gern ins liebe Auge
Rambler Song / Wanderlied, op. 23
Moon Song / Mondlied
Mountain Song from Rauenthal /
Árva lány haj süvegem bokrétája, op. 38
Bass-aria in Italian style
How my heart is beating /
Ach wie freudig pocht mein Herz op. 61
Marianna Pillárová - soprano /soprán (1-2, 4-5, 7-13, 15)
Jakub Tolaš - baritone / barytón (3, 5, 6, 14)
Marie Horáčková - piano / klavír (1-15)
The violinist, conductor, and composer Béla Kéler, by his birth name Albert Paul von Kéler, was born on 13th of February 1820 in the house no. 41 in the Town Hall Square of the city of Bartfeld (today´s Slovakian name: Bardejov). After his studies of music in Levoča, Debrecen and Prešov, he obtained the position of violinist at the "Theater an der Wien" in Vienna. At the same time, he studied harmony, counterpoint and started to compose. Since 1854, when he received the position of conductor of the Johann Sommer orchestra in Berlin, he used the name Béla Kéler. Later he became leader of the military band under Count Mazzuchelli and the Duke of Nassau. He spent the years of 1870-1872 as a leader of the spa-orchestra in Wiesbaden. He performed in all European cultural centres, such as London, Manchester, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Dresden, Leipzig, etc. Still, he often and gladly returned to his home city of Bartfeld. Kéler wrote dozens of waltzes, marches, csárdáses, polkas, songs, galops, overtures and several "musical paintings", such as the idyllic Carpathians, his first important composition which praises the Slovakian nature. Kéler´s music, at the time of its creation, could hold its own with the Vienna masters Joseph Lanner and the "Waltz King" Johann Strauss jun. His manuscripts now belong in parts to the collection of the Šariš Museum in Bardejov and the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. In 2014, the Béla-Kéler-Society was founded in Bardejov. The purpose of the society is the presentation of the inheritance of Béla Kéler.
Kéler composed the song Kéler composed the song I stay yours in 1845 when he was working in Vienna. On top of the manuscript´s frontpage he noted: "it is my first song". He dedicated it to his niece Amanda Schréter, the only daughter of Kéler´s sister Friederike. The text for this and three other songs have been written by the doctor Theodor Bakody with whom Friederike was married. Kéler dedicated the song Lullaby, op. 10 to Miss Pauline von Szontagh in Vienna. In the text of Theodor Bakody an unknown lover sings a lullaby to his beloved, whom he calls his child, because he hopes at least in his dreams she can belong only to him. The song was edited 1853 by the Viennese publisher H.F. Miller´s Witwe. The manuscript of the song Evening prayer is contained in the National Széchenyi Library in Budapest. It´s frontpage is signed by the composer with the pseudonym Béla Kéler, which he used since 1854. The author of the text is Theodor Bakody. Kéler finished the song Without you, which remained a manuscript, at 21st of January 1851 in Vienna. Although it has no dedication, we proceed, the text of Theodor Bakody pays homage to his daughter Amanda Schréter. The German poet of Czech origin Rudolf Hirsch published in his collection of poems "Voices of the people" a poem the Song of count O`Donnell, on which the song of the same name by Kéler is based. O´Donnell became famous by preventing the assassination of emperor Franz Joseph I in February 1853. The manuscript of the intimate, lyrical song Illusion remained in two versions by Kéler. The first version was finished in winter 1848/49. The second version was written on 2nd July 1874 in Wiesbaden, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his brother Peter´s death. He is the author of the text, who died 1849 as officer in the Austrian army fighting near Komárno. Kéler dedicated the song A sound from your voice, op. 9 to the author of the text, Rudolf Hirsch, mentioning "most kindly dedicated to the poet of the labyrinth of love". The version for voice and piano was edited 1853 by the Viennese publisher C.A. Spina. The orchestral version remained a manuscript and is contained in the Šariš-museum in Bardejov. The song Oh darling, when I am with you, op. 103 is based on a poem of Rudolf Hirsch. It is a composition from Kéler´s youth for voice and piano, which was edited in July 1877 by the Berlin publisher Bote & Bock. Kéler orchestrated the song during his last stay in Bardejov-Spa in august 1880. The song Looking gently into your lovely eyes, which was composed in Vienna 1851, is contained in the National Széchenyi Library in Budapest as a revised version from 17th January 1874. The text´s author is Adolf Frankenburg, the translation into English was written by Laura Gray. The Rambler Song, op. 23 describes the journey of a vagabond with his rucksack and stick, who happily follows his way, enjoys the sun and isn´t concerned about love. The author of the text is Uffo Horn. The song was edited in December 1857 by the Viennese publisher C. A. Spina. The Moon Song expresses a longing for a lost homeland. It is contained in the Šariš-Museum in Bardejov as an undated manuscript. The author of the German text is Alexander Patuzzi. The Mountain Song from Rauenthal remained in two undated manuscripts for voice and piano by Kéler. The poem by Friedrich Hornseck celebrates Rauenthal, the German vine-village of highest altitude in the area of Rheingau. The song Árva lány haj süvegem bokrétája, op. 38 based on a text by Sándor Petöfi, is composed in the style of Hungarian Czardas. It was published in February 1860 by Ròzsavölgy. The manuscript of the Bass-aria in Italian style is not dated, the text´s author unknown. It starts with a lyrical andante, the last climax of the aria is the rhythmical Cabaletta. The concert-waltz How my heart is beating, op. 61 for coloratura soprano and orchestra was composed for Clara Perl, the soloist of the hessian court-opera. The unsigned text exists in Italian and German language. The waltz was edited in the version for voice and piano in November 1864 by the publisher B. Schott´s sons.
Marianna Pillárová was born in Bardejov. She studied at the academies of music in Košice and Ostrava. She graduated from the academy of performing arts in Bratislava in the role of Liu in Puccini´s opera Turandot, which she performed on stage of the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava. She is well known as Mozart-singer and also is engaged frequently for Bedřich Smetana´s and popular Italian operas performing in Japan, USA, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia. Also, she teaches opera-singing at the Janáček-academy of music in Ostrava.
Jakub Tolaš started studies in singing at his father - soloist at the Ostrava-Opera house -, followed by Zdeňka Diváková. His first solo-engagement took place at the State-Theatre of Ústí nad Labem. After his military service he was engaged at the State-Theatre of Ostrava, where he passed six seasons. Then he changed to the Silesian Theatre in Opava. From 2002 until 2011 he was soloist at the Janáček-opera in Brno. He is a regular guest at Czech operas.
Marie Horáčková graduated from the institute of art-sciences at the university of Ostrava in the subject playing piano. She teaches piano and accompaniment in the section for singing and acting at the Janáček-academy of music in Ostrava. She accompanied singers and choirs in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Croatia and Bosnia.