Barnabás Kelemen / Katalin Kokas

Béla Bartók: Forty-Four Duos; Hungarian Folksongs

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AllMusic Review by

Even ardent Bartók fans might at first be put off by a program consisting exclusively of the composer's folk song arrangements, but those who are willing to step out of the Bartókian comfort zone may very well find this disc a sheer delight. The two-violin team of Barnabás Kelemen and Katalin Kokas turn in varied and virtuosic performances of Bartók's Forty-Four Duos, bringing out charming melodies and infectious rhythms, never shrinking from the harshest dissonances, but rather emphasizing them as part of the music's charm. With sprightly tempos and odd but ingratiating tunes, the 16 arrangements for violin and piano performed by Keleman and pianist Zoltán Kocis that conclude the disc are even more overtly appealing. More problematic, perhaps, are the three performances by Kocis and furulya (an Hungarian peasant flute) player Zoltán Juhász. The primary reason for this is not the music but the acutely piercing tone of the furulya, which to Western ears may have all the allure of a pennywhistle. But those who can get past this may well find Bartók's three Hungarian folk songs attractive. Hungaroton's super audio sound is clean and immediate.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Duos (44) for 2 violins, Volumes 1-4, Sz. 98, BB 104
1
0:55
2
0:40
3
0:59
4
0:46
5
0:57
6
0:52
7
0:44
8
1:06
9
0:43
10
1:15
11
1:28
12
0:54
13
1:27
14
0:49
15
1:02
16
0:58
17
0:44
18
0:45
19
1:09
20
1:29
21
2:09
22
0:42
23
1:21
24
0:44
25
0:55
26
0:30
27
0:31
28
2:19
29
0:43
30
0:51
31
0:43
32
0:43
33
1:32
34
0:59
35
1:07
36
1:00
37
1:03
38
2:37
39
0:42
40
0:48
41
0:49
42
0:51
43
1:19
44
1:10
45
2:02
46
3:02
Hungarian Folk Tunes, for violin & piano (arranged by Joseph Szigeti and Bela Bartók from "For Children")
47
0:48
48
0:54
49
1:37
50
1:20
51
0:41
52
0:53
53
0:56
Hungarian Folksongs, for violin & piano (transcribed from "For Children" by Tivadar Országh & Béla Bartók)
54
1:24
55
0:29
56
1:12
57
0:58
58
1:33
59
0:26
60
0:37
61
1:17
62
0:55
blue highlight denotes track pick