The Donald as Hary Janos

Hary Janos
This is "The Donald". I associate him with a sneeze. I also associate him with the story below - particularly when he talks about borders and taking back America. You'll see why when you read the rest and listen to the music.

Zolton Kodaly (great name) was a composer who wrote music which you have heard here and there but in general isn't widely known outside symphony orchestra circles...not to be snobbish but his work is extremely difficult "gypsy" music of sorts - exotic rhythms and tonal patterns - very pleasing but very hard.

One great "folk opera" of his was Hary Janos.  Here is "about it" from a really good article on Wiki:

"The story is of a veteran hussar in the Austrian army in the first half of the 19th century who sits in the village inn regaling his listeners with fantastic tales of heroism.  His supposed exploits include winning the heart of the Empress Marie Louise, the wife of Napoleon, and then single-handedly defeating Napoleon and his armies. Nevertheless, he finally renounces all riches in order to go back to his village with his sweetheart.

Kodály wrote in his preface to the score: "Háry is a peasant, a veteran soldier who day after day sits at the tavern spinning yarns about his heroic exploits.  The stories released by his imagination are an inextricable mixture of realism and naivety, of comic humour and pathos." He also comments that "though superficially he appears to be merely a braggart, essentially he is a natural visionary and poet. That his stories are not true is irrelevant, for they are the fruit of a lively imagination, seeking to create, for himself and for others, a beautiful dream world."

The opera, and the suite, begin with an orchestral 'musical sneeze', best explained in Kodály's own words: "According to Hungarian superstition, if a statement is followed by a sneeze of one of the hearers, it is regarded as confirmation of its truth. The Suite begins with a sneeze of this kind! One of Háry's group of faithful listeners … sneezes at the wildest assertions of the old tale-spinner".