Julius von Beliczay (1835-93)
Original piano works and Hungarian national music by his contemporaries
John Kersey, piano
Audio sample: Andantino, op 26 no 2
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Total time: 68 mins 36 secs
1) Hermann Adolf Wollenhaupt (1827-65): Marche hongroise, op. 66 (4’04”)
2) Beliczay: from Stammbuchblätter, op. 31 (5’52”): 1. Träumerei; 2. Intermezzo
3) Beliczay: Gavotte op. 43 (3’56”)
4) Beliczay: Aquarellen, op. 26 (15’44”): 1. Moderato; 2. Andantino; 3. Allegretto; 4. Andante con moto; 5. Allegretto grazioso “Es lächelt der See”; 6. Vivace; 7. Allegretto vivace
5) Benjamin Egressy (1814-51) arr. Ferdinand Beyer (1803-63): Ungarische Volkshymne no. 61: Szosat (2’17”)
6) Beliczay: Nocturno, op. 24 (5’31”)
7) Beliczay: from Miniaturen, op. 67 (12’36”): 1. Allegretto; 2. Allegro; 3. Moderato; 4. Allegro scherzando; 5. Vivace; 6. Allegretto 8. Adagio rubato – Allegro; 9. Tempo di Valse; 10. Vivace; 11. Andante; 12. Moderato “Égböl szólok”
8) Beliczay: Novellette and Romanze, op. 2 (5’13”)
9) Beliczay: 8 Variations on a Hungarian theme, op. 23 (9’27”)
10) Ferenc Erkel (1810-93) arr. Ferdinand Beyer: Ungarische Volkshymne no. 60: Gott erhalt Ungarn (3’11”)
Julius, or Gyula in Hungarian, von Beliczay de Belic was one of the most important of Hungarian composers of the generation after Liszt. He was a composer in almost all the major forms of the day, including songs, chamber music, sacred music, opera, symphonic works (2 symphonies, written in 1888 and 1892 respectively) and a wide variety of piano music.
Beliczay was born in Révkomárom and studied piano there. During the 1850s he came into contact with Czerny and Nottebohm and was later a correspondent of Liszt, to whom he dedicated a cadenza.
Beliczay was an arch-Romantic and a man of profoundly sensitive disposition. His predominant style was within the Germanic heritage, with Schumann’s influence predominant in the works on this disc. Although there are nationalistic elements in his music, Beliczay was in general more drawn to the absolute than the programmatic, with a clear form obvious throughout his work and no piece outstaying its welcome.
When the Academy of Music opened at Budapest in 1875, Franz Liszt was its President and Ferenc Erkel its Director. Erkel’s famous national hymn “Gott erhalt Ungarn”, which is the Hungarian national anthem, concludes this disc. Beliczay was appointed Professor of the Academy and continued in this post until his death.
The other contributors to this disc, like Beliczay and Erkel, died prematurely, perhaps accounting for their posthumous neglect. Beyer was chiefly known as a pedagogue, and his exercises are still very popular in piano teaching in South America. Benjamin or Beny Egressy composed the “other” Hungarian national anthem, Szosat (often played at the end of ceremonies while Erkel’s anthem is played at the beginning), whose arrangement by Beyer is dramatic and effective. Wollenhaupt was a Leipzig-trained pianist who later pursued a career in New York with great success. His Hungarian March is full of pomp and drama.