63 years ago, Hungary rose up against one of the most oppressing and brutal empires of the world. On 23rd October 1956, students and workers, men and women, old and young people of Budapest and other cities in Hungary grew tired of tyranny, intimidation, and repression under the Bolshevik regime of terror. Let us introduce you two of the most emblematic pieces of music of the glorious and tragic Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight against the Soviet Union.
On 23rd October, the first armed conflict that broke out the revolution was at the radio station of Bródy Sándor Street – revolutionists managed to capture the building after a bloody fight with heavy losses. They wanted to transmit their demands on the radio, but the station was ruined and unusable. The fighters had to improvise, so they set up a mobile radio truck at the Parliament and used to broadcast news, messages, and information to support the revolution.
Between the news programmes of the channel, they needed some kind of an intermezzo of music to fill in the breaks. They found old vinyl records in the building of the parliament, including
a masterpiece of Ludwig van Beethoven – the Egmont Overture.
This piece of music became the most emblematic melody of the 1956 Revolution as it was played several times on the radio during the fights.
Another well-known tune of the revolution was composed by an Italian artist, Pier Francesco Pingitore. This song with the title “Avanti Ragazzi di Budapest” is very popular in Italy as it has also become the march of a football team, S.S. Lazio.
It expresses the atmosphere of the revolution very effectively. Even if the Italians did not experience the brutality and terror of the fights, this song reveals how they saw those crucial days and shows how much they respect the heroic bravery of the Hungarian revolutionists. You can find the English translation of the text here.
You can read more about the international reactions to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight here. You can also read about how the Soviet army put an end to the revolution in November 1956 here.