Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Third day of interviews

The interviews just get better, so much better it grieves me to think how little we'll be able to use.

Theme: Liszt and Gypsy Music. Read Liszt's own book on the subject, which may not really be by Liszt but by his then mistress, Caroline von Wittgenstein but approved by him. So far have talked to curator of exhibition, ever more animated Peter, to gypsy cimbalom virtuoso Kálmàn, to ethnologist Katalin and to the last student of Kodály, Bálint, each one adding something new, usually about 30 minutes into the interview. 

The loveliest so far was our last, Balázs, who is 86. His halting English caused him trouble but he grew ever more passionate, till he began to demonstrate his musical points first on the piano, then on his field research tapes, finally producing a set of pipes and playing each one. We embraced at the end and he gave me a dedicated book.

Now in Nyíregyháza, in north east Hungary, in a hotel with a John Bull pub with darts, serving tofu! Life gets surreal at times.

This afternoon to Paszab, a village to interview Parno Graszt, a gypsy band.

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