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ClassicsOnline Home » Piano Recital: Rangell, Andrew - BARTOK, B. / JANACEK, L. / KODALY, Z. (A Folk Song Runs Through It)
Interesting folk inspired pieces from Bartok, Janacek, and Kodaly
This recording from Steinway & Sons features Andrew Rangell performing one work from Leos Janacek, 3 from Bela Bartok, and one From Zoltan Kodaly. Each of these pieces features snippets from, or is based upon, folk melodies that each composer had heard and was familiar with. First is a wonderful, wistful piece titled “In the Mists” from Janacek. The melodies are seemingly simple, but in reality playing them as gently and expressively as Mr. Rangell does is quite difficult, and for me this work was really the highlight of the entire recording.
Next is “Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs” from Bela Bartok. This is a series of eight short pieces, each of which has a definite harmonic relationship to the next. There are some elements of discord in the music in the manner typical of Bartok’s musical lens, but on the whole the set of eight pieces work together very well. Following this is Bartok’s “Six Romanian Folk Dances”, each of which is based (according to the well written liner notes) based on a fiddle tune. This is a fun set of pieces, more energetic than the previous set of eight pieces, and is definitely something that the Bartok lover should hear.
Now we come to the Kodaly work, “Seven Pieces for Piano”. These Debussy influenced pieces (you just can’t miss this when you hear them), have a definite Debussy-like harmonic texture to them, while at the same time possessing Kodaly’s occasionally unique tonal choices. If you like Kodaly’s works on the whole, then this piece is definitely for you.
Finally, we finish with Bartok’s “Sonata”, the only one that he ever wrote for piano. The Bartok feel is evident right away, with sweeping chords up and down the keyboard and choppy folk-like rhythms. If you enjoy Bartok’s string quartets, then this is right up your alley.
This is all difficult music to bring to life, and Mr. Rangell again shows himself to be more than up to the task. That being said, for me I find I have to be in just the right “rainy-day” mood to really get in touch with these Bartok and Kodaly works, while Janacek’s “In the Mists” grabbed me the first time I heard it. So if you are a Bartok lover, then you definitely should give this well recorded disc a listen. On the other hand, if Bartok really isn’t for you, there is definite value in listening to “In the Mists”. I am glad I have this in my collection.more....
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Piano Recital: Rangell, Andrew - BARTOK, B. / JANA...