The large-bodied, pedaled cimbalom - the version of the instrument familiar to us today - and the warm-sounding tárogató were both created by József Schunda Venzel in the latter half of the 19th century. The prototype of the latter was introduced around the same time as the "Turkish pipe”, as the tárogató is also known, developed by János Stowasser, another Budapest instrument-maker. After a heyday lasting several decades, both instruments faded in popularity. They then came back into fashion in the 20th century, but soon receded back into obscurity. The work of cimbalom player Aladár Rácz briefly seemed to herald the instrument's return to the classical music stage, but the dulcimer-type instrument eventually remained confined primarily to the realms of Hungarian "nóta” songs and folk music. At the turn of the millennium, the situation suddenly changed with the emergence of highly trained performers blessed with enormous talent and a yen for experimentation, who breathed new life into the two storied instruments. Today, with the exception of popular music, the tárogató and the cimbalom can be heard in every musical genre.
Luckily, modern instrument-makers are also able to accommodate new requirements and, in consort with the musicians, have made significant changes. Three such craftsmen - master cimbalom-makers Ákos Nagy and Balázs Kovács and master tárogató-maker József Tóth - will be joining the musicians to talk about these and related matters.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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