^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 

ZOLTAN SZEKELY  

(1903 - 2001)

Zoltán Székely’s name will always be associated with that of Béla Bartók. Generations of young violinists will have played his arrangement of Bartók’s Six Romanian Dances and Székely gave premieres of several of Bartók’s works. He was also the illustrious leader (after Sándor Végh gave up the post) for over thirty-five years of the Hungarian String Quartet, a group that was to be one of the great and enduring ensembles of the middle of the twentieth century and one that will always be linked to Bartók’s name, giving premieres of and recording all of his string quartets.

A violin pupil of Jenő Hubay at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Székely was also a significant composer: whilst studying with Zoltán Kodály he completed his Op. 1, the Sonata for Solo Violin. Most notable of his later compositions is a string quartet in eight movements (1937), which finally received its premiere in Banff, Canada in 1999 in a performance by the New Zealand String Quartet (which numbered two of his ex-pupils among its members).

The last twenty years of Székely’s career were spent in Canada where he held the post of Alberta’s violinist-in-residence, acting as a role model for many aspiring musicians and frequently travelling around the province in uncomfortable conditions to further this aim.

Székely’s performance style has a pure, clean edge to its sound which, from an early stage, took on many of the now familiar hallmarks of twentieth-century violin playing. It is his appealing depth of tone and gritty integrity of interpretation that define the many recordings of the Hungarian String Quartet. Their account of Kodály’s Quartet No. 2 from 1959 testifies to the qualities of this ensemble, a performance in which Kodály’s folk-inspired work, whilst perhaps lacking the ultimate innovative edge of Bartók’s seminal six quartets, is richly united with the Romantic aesthetic. The result is a language well suited to the quartet’s rich and powerful tone.

Although perhaps best remembered as leader of this great ensemble, Székely was also a popular and highly successful solo artist. His world premiere performance of Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in 1939 with Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra (recorded live) is of obvious historical significance and demonstrates a warmth of emotion and fluidity of sound that are not often associated with this work. He also produced a deeply-felt recording (1942) of Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in which his bright sound is suitably counterpoised with darker hues in this sometimes brooding, sometimes dazzling work.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)

View by Role: Classical Composer | Arranger
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
Role: Arranger 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
  View Albums
 
 




 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
9:03:38 AM, 1 November 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-208-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.