Kossovits, József [Koschovitz, Joseph]
- Ferenc Bónis
(b after 1750; d after 1819). Hungarian composer and cellist. He served as a musician at the court of Menyhért Szulyovszky at Rákócz, Upper Hungary, until 1794, when his employer was arrested for participating in the Jacobin uprising in Hungary; this event inspired Kossovits’s Slow Hungarian Dance in C minor, published as the last of his 12 danses hongroises pour le clavecin ou pianoforte (Vienna, c1800), which became one of the best-known dance pieces of the verbunkos period. Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, the most important Hungarian poet of the turn of the century, wrote his A’ reményhez (‘To Hope’, 1803) to the melody of this dance, thus contributing significantly to its popularity. It was arranged by Liszt in his Magyar dallok – Magyar rhapsodiák (i:6, v:12) and also in his Hungarian Rhapsody no.5. In 1804 Kossovits was in the service of Countess Andrássy in Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia), where he remained at least until ...