Ungarns Kinder

Concert Band

Ungarns Kinder

Children from Hungary

Concert March, March
Grade Level:
Performance time:
Full Score + Condensed Score + Parts
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When we discovered the march “Ungarns Kinder” (“Children from Hungary”) with the Bürgerkapelle Lana in South Tyrol, it was clear on the one hand that this march was a real gem, on the other hand we were not in the position to provide any data on the composer’s life and activities – and this in spite of intensive investigations - even when we were later recording the CD “Ins Land hinaus” (“In the Countryside”) featuring the Salzburg Military Band.

This situation remained unchanged, again despite thorough inquiries. It was the help by the band of Velturno in South Tyrol that triggered the decisive hint on the basis of sheet music in the band’s archives. The “trace” did not point towards Hungary as had been assumed for some time; it rather brought us to Chomutov, located in the Czech Republic. It finally was the assistance of Czech friends that produced the desired data on the composer.

Emil Toft grew up in Chomutov in a musical environment, where his father had been active as a musician since 1879. Emil was thoroughly educated by his father, and soon became popular as musician, music teacher and composer. His works were well known and popular in the vicinity of his hometown. This held especially true since Toft directed the band of the local veterans’ association Arch Duke Albrecht I when his music was frequently played at many festivities, on holidays, concerts and local parades. Regarding the nature of Emil Toft’s music, Franz Neuber wrote: “His compositions are certainly not profound, yet melodious, attractive…he was one of the few composers who made people have strong feelings.” In the Composers Reference Book, 1910 (published by Bruno Volger, Leipzig) Toft is credited with some 300 works, of which 200 were printed after all. Emil Toft wrote overtures, (simple) string quintets, songs, waltzes, the music for a musical comedy and “several marches”.

The circumstances at the end of the lost world war as well as marital problems caused Emil Toft to move to Litomìøice, located some 80 km from Chomutov as a cellist. He died there in 1918.

As holds true with several other composers of that period, it is the march that keeps Toft’s name from falling into oblivion.

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