Hungarian composers of the first half of the 20th century were essential drivers of the fusion between different musical languages, popular and erudite, with Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály standing out as two great icons. Kodály was born four years before the death of Franz Liszt, one of the greatest figures of the 19th century. Born in Hungary, although in a German-speaking region, he would become one of the great piano virtuosos of is time. Fascinated by the “dance of death”, a secular European notion with great impact on the visual arts, Liszt composed the magnificent Totentanz, a paraphrase for piano and orchestra based on the Gregorian Die irae.
Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sz 100
Totentanz, S. 126
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