5 de Diapason
At the start of the 20th Century, "Hungarian Music" was still under the influence of the Magyaresque writing of Brahms and Liszt, which was more a mix of the sounds of the Viennese salons with Romany themes than a real reflection of popular musical traditions. It was not until the advent of the ethnomusicological research of Bartók and Kodály that the "real Hungary" made its appearance in the smart press. No-one will be surprised, then, to learn that Leo Weiner's Serenade Op. 3, written in 1906, still contains many Brahmso-Liszto-Viennese elements, whereas the further forward we move through time, the more his Hungarian language (and Romanian language, as a large eastern chunk of historic Hungary was ceded to Romania after the First World War) converges with the real folk music sound. That said, what sets Weiner apart from Bartók and Kodály is that the former suffuses his harmonisations and his transcriptions with a symphonic and post-romantic spirit (the same spirit that inspired Enescu's folk music explorations, for example), without the harmonic research of his two Hungarian colleagues, who drew upon the same trove of people's music to produce works that were ever-more-cutting edge, more avant-garde, more modern. Until the Fourth and Fifth (and last) Divertimentos of 1951, the tone remains romantic. And oh: how delicious! Neeme Järvi and the Estonian National Orchestra perform.