Kéler: Son of the Homeland

Béla Kéler: Son of the Homeland

Czechoslovak Chamber Duo

Pavel Burdych, violin & Zuzana Berešová, piano

12.00 €

1 Memory of Bardejov, op.31 (arr. Pavel Burdych)

2 Storm and Calm (concert piece)

3 A Bit from Everything

4 The Two Brothers in Art (arr. Pavel Burdych)

5 The Rakoczy-Ouverture, op.76 (arr. Gustav Schlemüller)

6 Rose Dreams, op.72

Three Hungarian Idylls, op.134

7 I. Farewell to the Lower Land, op.134/1

8 II. Son of the Homeland

9 III. Yearning for Home, op.134/3 

Composer, violinist, and conductor Béla Kéler was born in Bardejov on February 13, 1820. After studies in Levoča, Debrecen and Prešov, he was admitted into the orchestral section of the first violins at the Theater an der Wien in 1845. A year later, he published his first opus number out of the total of 139 published compositions and was continuously improving himself in harmony and counterpoint. In 1854, in the orchestra of Johann Sommer in Berlin, Kéler's career as a conductor started and continued in the following season in the Lanner Orchestra in Vienna. Between 1856 - 1860 Kéler held the position of a bandmaster of the Count Mazzuchelli military band. After a short engagement at the head of his own orchestra in Budapest, he left for Wiesbaden, where he lived and worked for the last twenty years of his life. From 1863, he led the local orchestra of the Second Regiment of the Duke of Nassau, and later also the spa orchestra. Starting in 1873, he was a guest conductor of orchestras in London, Manchester, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, and Zurich. His music was at the time equal to the creations by the Strauss dynasty. Béla Kéler bequeathed a large part of his musical estate to his hometown, and today, it is in the collection of the Šariš Museum in Bardejov. The Béla Kéler Society was founded in 2014 to promote Kéler's musical heritage.

The csardas The Memory of Bardejov, op.31 (Erinnerung an Bartfeld) 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."

Kéler performed his one-part concertino Storm and Calm (Tempête et calme) as a violin virtuoso in the version for violin and orchestra under the original title of Concerto dramatique in Berlin on January 5, 1855. The work focuses on a person's inner disposition. The change of the composition title to Tempête et calme was initiated by the violin virtuosos Ferdinand Laub, Henryk Wieniawski and August Wilhelmj, who played it for Kéler in Wiesbaden in 1863. 

A Bit from Everything (Von jedem etwas) is a dance quodlibet for violin and piano, written in 1849,with Styrian Dances, Recruits' March, Devil's Dance, Libuse Polka, and the csardas Patriot's Feelings following one another. 

The concert piece The Two Brothers in Art (Die beiden Kunstbrüder) for two violins and orchestra was interpreted for the first time by the soloists Béla Kéler and Jozef Dubez in Budapest in March 1861. Dubez is indicated as the co-author in the score. The version for two violins and piano was arranged by Pavel Burdych. 

The Rakoczy-Ouverture, op. 76 was written as an introduction to the drama by Ede Szigligeti The Capture of Count Francis II Rákóczy. Its premiere took place in 1861 at the opening of the Buda Folk Theater.

The waltz Rose Dreams, op.72 (Rosige Träume, op.72) for violin and piano was written by Kéler in Vienna in March 1854. Not until 11 years later, did Kéler score this waltz for orchestra. In it, Kéler imagines a girl sleeping in a rose pavilion and having amorous dreams. 

The cycle for violin and piano Three Hungarian Idylls, op.134 (Drei ungarische Idyllen) consists of three csardases - Farewell to the Lower Land, Son of the Homeland, and Yearning for Home

Záznam z prezentácie CD albumu "Son of the Homeland", ktorá sa uskutočnila 21.8.2021 v rámci medzinárodného hudobného festivalu Hevhetfest 2021 v priestoroch Slovenského rozhlasu v Bratislave. Slovom sprevádza: Ján Sudzina, riaditeľ spoločnosti Hevhetia.

Projekt z verejných zdrojov podporil Fond na podporu umenia, hlavný partner projektu