Son of the Homeland

Czechoslovak Chanber Duo

Pavel Burdych, violin & Zuzana Berešová, piano

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The csardas Memory of Bardejov, op.31 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) a s 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 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 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 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 consists of three csardases - Farewell to the Lower Land, Son of the Homeland, and Yearning for Home.

The project was supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.

Video from the presentation of the CD album "Son of the Homeland" from the international music festival Hevhetfest 2021 Slovak Radio Bratislava (Slovakia)