Synopses & Reviews
Hungary is in the process of abandoning the trappings of its Communist past, while attempting to preserve its culture from creeping Americanisation and globalised blandness. The author is glad to find that certain old-fashioned attitudes of courtesy and overall decency are still deeply ingrained in Hungarian society. Music, dance and song play an important part in Hungarian culture, which in so many ways reflects the country's geographical position as a crossroads of Central Europe. There is a true sense of otherness here, in spite of Hungary's geographical closeness to us.
This is an engaging and affectionate guide to great art in a great European capital. Nicholas Clapton finds a true sense of otherness here, in spite of Hungary’s geographical closeness to the West, and the political rapprochements of the last two decades.
Singer Nicholas Clapton first visited Budapest to record a recently discovered mass by an almost unknown eighteenth-century Hungarian composer. There, he discovered a striking sense of otherness in spite of Hungary s central geographical and cultural position within Europe. And with that, a deep passion for the city was born. Budapest offers an engaging and affectionate look at this beautiful capital from the perspective of a musician who lived and worked there for many years.
With rich musical traditions, both classical and folk, and possessing a language like almost no other, Hungary is in the process of abandoning the trappings of its communist past while attempting to preserve its culture from creeping globalization. Clapton delights in the fact that certain old-fashioned attitudes of courtesy, at times stemming from the very structures of the Magyar tongue, are still deeply ingrained in Hungarian society. At the same time, despite its association with world-famous composers such as Bartok, Liszt, and Kodaly, music is far from an activity enjoyed only by the elite. Including plenty of tips on food, drink, and sites of interest, Budapest describes the capital in uniquely melodic terms and will delight lovers of travel and music alike."
Exploring the ancient and still mysterious city of Budapest.
About the Author
Nicholas Clapton is a Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2006 he presented the documentary Castrato for BBC4. He lives in Oxford and Budapest, where he is currently a visiting Profesor at the Liszt Ferenc Zenemuveszeti Egyetem. He is also the author of Moreschi, and the Voice of the Castrato and Moreschi, the Last Castrato.