Composer:   Zoltan Kodaly
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Universal Edition
Edition:   UE 10739 (English edition)
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   A Cappella


Mary Kay Geston
Northwestern College 2003
R&R Chair College & University

“Jesus and the Traders” was originally published in 1934 with a Hungarian text, though the English translation by Edward J. Dent is very effective and is recommended for American audiences. “Jesus and the Traders” is an outstanding, yet rarely-heard composition by Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly. Kodaly combines Blblical verses from John 2:13, Mark 11:17, and Luke 19:47 to create a musical narrative of Jesus’ reaction to merchants and traders selling their wares in the temple in Jerusalem. The energetic counterpoint demands clarity in performance, and this composition provides, in this reviewer’s opionion, one of the most dramatic moments in unaccompanied choral music of the twentieth century. (“Robbers! Robbers!”).