Donald Macleod traces the course of Kodaly's early life, when he went from rural Hungary to Budapest, then on to the glamour of 1900s Berlin and Paris.
Zoltán Kodály's early life took him from rural Hungary to Budapest, then on to the glamour of 1900s Berlin and Paris. Donald Macleod traces the course of the journey.
A sense of happy adventure seems to have characterised the early life of Zoltán Kodály. Born into an idyllic childhood in rural Hungary, he claimed to have learnt to sing before he could talk. At 16 he left home for university in Budapest, where he met the woman who would become his wife and the man who would become his lifelong friend, Béla Bartók. Together Kodály and Bartók were in the vanguard of a new breed - musicologists - as they set out into the depths of the Hungarian countryside capturing for posterity the sounds of the folk music they heard. Kodály's adventures continued with study visits to Berlin, where he encountered the brilliance of the Joachim String Quartet, and to Paris, where the music of Debussy made an indelible impression. In conversation with Kodály expert David Vinden, Donald Macleod looks at the formative years of this unique and maverick composer.