CLASSICAL PHOTOGRAPHY by Jess Isaiah Levin, Raleigh, NC

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An unusual (in the USA) musical instrument: the Cimbalom

Have you seen these before?

cimbalom mallets

If you are Hungarian, you are surely familiar with the cimbalom, and recognize the type of mallets used to play it. In the United States, the only "usual" opportunity for most of us to hear this beautiful instrument is in concert performances of the orchestral suite "Háry János", by Zoltán Kodály, taken from his opera of the same name.

This is a cimbalom belonging to Petra Berényi:


Here it is closer to the player's viewpoint:

cimbalom as played

Here is Petra practicing for a performance:

Petra plays cimbalom

And relaxing:

Petra Berényi

The cimbalom has similarities with other varieties of hammer dulcimer, but the Hungarian form has a history spanning many centuries, and was developed into a concert instrument of great capability. In Hungary, it is as widely known and used as the piano.

You can hear a marvelous concert of trios for cimbalom, violin, and cello, featuring Petra Berényi, May 7, 2008, 7:30 PM at the Carolwoods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC.



cimbalom pedal

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All images on this site © Jess Isaiah Levin