GPOY: Kodály’s Cello Sonata, op. 8 - János Starker
George Lang on the Székelys:
Their origin is lost in the mist of the chaotic eighth to eleventh centuries, but they are probably descendants of Hun-Bulgarian tribes. Quite different in looks, in life-style and even in dialect from the rest of the Hungarians, living in forests and mountains populated with fairy-tale images, they are droll and fantastic figures. They live in a world that is one part reality, one part poetry, and one part self-created mythology. You can “feel” them instantly listening to much of the music of Bartók; and if you are fortunate enough to hear the great cellist János Starker play Kodály’s Solo Sonata, you will instantly understand the spirit of the székely people. Even though they share the same ideas about cooking as the rest of Hungary, because of their special historical and geographical advantages and no doubt unusual talents, they have developed and kept a remarkable culinary entity. To my mind, it’s the most interesting part of the Hungarian kitchen.
[H]e is known for his patrician stage presence, preferring to let the music do the emoting. He quotes his long-time friend and colleague, György Sebők, who said, “Create excitement. Don’t get excited.”