Márta Fábián ‘Contemporary Hungarian Cimbalom Music vol. 2’

Contemporary Hungarian Cimbalom Music vol. 2 LP front cover
Contemporary Hungarian Cimbalom Music vol. 2 LP back cover
Contemporary Hungarian Cimbalom Music vol. 2 LP side
Márta Fábián, 1978

Cimbalom player Márta Fábián, born 1946, studied in the Hungarian classic tradition of the instrument, yet she made a groundbreaking debut with her three first solo Hungaroton LPs of specially-commissioned, contemporary repertoire, published 1978-80. Since then, she has interpreted the foremost Hungarian composers like Peter Eötvös and György Kurtág, as well as the baroque and classical repertoire (see good bio here). The shimmering, harmonic-laden sounds of the cimbalom have been extensively used for picturesque evocations in folk music, yet the instrument’s tonal riches could only attract contemporary composers yearning for timbral opulence. It clearly shows in this LP, with compositions pairing cimbalom with flute (Endre Székely), guitar (István Láng), horn (Miklós Kocsár) or zither (Attila Bozay). László Sáry’s Sonata is the only piece for solo cimbalom (see previous post on Sáry). The music sometimes call for extended playing technique, like stroking the strings with fingers, instead of beaters, as on Attila Bozay’s Tükör Op. 28. The last two tracks are definitely the most satisfying here, the sombre, contemplative, long held notes of Repliche leading to the ambiguous association of zither and cimbalom of  Tükör – that is, mirror in Hungarian, as if Márta-Alice had stepped Through the Looking-Glass into “a most curious country”. [b&w photo above from Patrick Scheffer’s Flickr photostream]

01 István Láng Hullámok II (6:22)
02 László Sáry Sonanti No. 3 (9:23)
03 Endre Székely Duó Cimbalomra és Fuvolára (9:25)
04 Miklós Kocsár Repliche No.2 (10:27)
05 Attila Bozay Tükör Op.28 (11:47)

Tihamér Elek, flute (#1, #3)
Béla Sztankovits, guitar (#1)
Ferenc Tarjáni, horn (#4)
Attila Bozay, zither (#5)

Total time 47:15
LP released by Hungaroton, Hungary, 1979


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13 Responses to “Márta Fábián ‘Contemporary Hungarian Cimbalom Music vol. 2’”

  1. 1 mietek October 6, 2010 at 11:48 am

    vol 1 of this has been among my records awaiting the rip and upload.

  2. 2 continuo October 6, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Please, do! Would love to hear it. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. 3 newname October 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Again many thanks Continuo for great Hungaroton album.

  4. 4 maready October 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you very much — I love the instrument and am especially interested in its use in ‘new’ music (ie. Kurtag.) Thanks also for the scan of both sides of the LP jacket: more fuel for my Hungaroton obsession. Note to Mietek — I would love to hear volume one … will you be posting it and if so, where can I find you? I have posted a Hungaroton Bach ‘Goldberg Variations’ (from O.O.P. CD) at http://takecare-maready.blogspot.com/2010/09/goldberg-variations-on-two-cimbaloms.html.

    Continuo: thanks again for this in particular and the blog in general.

  5. 5 continuo October 6, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Well, it seems Pan Mietek is now under pressure ;D

  6. 6 J.M October 7, 2010 at 3:55 am

    desde mexico , gracias por demostrarme que ay otro tipo de musica

  7. 7 continuo October 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

    You’re welcome.

  8. 8 Janas October 7, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Thank you very much.

  9. 9 continuo October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I’m running out of You’re-Welcome, now.

  10. 10 mietek October 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

    okay, i need to correct myself: the record i own is NOT the vol.1 of this, but it’s of the same ilk. it is called “Cimbalom Concerts by Contemporary Hungarian Composers”, the performer’s name is Agnes Szakaly, and it contains works by Attila Remenyi (two pieces), Kamillo Lendvay and Laszlo Kiraly. Hungaroton 1990, mint condition. allow me a month or two and, between changing (not my own) diapers and my final exams, i’ll definitely find some time to open my record player.

  11. 11 continuo October 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Oh, Pane, Pane, this is a little disappointing. Several readers (including myself) expected to hear more of peerless Márta Fábián, according to your first comment. Anyway, a Hungaroton LP is always welcome. Good luck for your exams.

  12. 12 cimbalom October 17, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you.

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