Zoltán Kocsis

Béla Bartók: Works for Piano Solo 1

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AllMusic Review by

The value of this 1992 Philips release should be self-evident, though listeners unfamiliar with Béla Bartók's rich piano music or Zoltán Kocsis' splendid reputation may need further reassurance. The pieces on the first installment of Kocsis' seven-volume series represent the fertile period that began in 1908, when Bartók melded the influences of Strauss, Liszt, and Hungarian folk music into a new and vital musical language, which would thence forward distinguish him as one of the greatest modernists, along with Stravinsky and Schoenberg. Also, Bartók's works have seldom been played as imaginatively or as subtly as they are here, and Kocsis has earned his fame as a leading interpreter of the composer by imparting energy, freshness, and depth to this music that few can match. These criteria should be persuasive, but listening to this excellent disc will be final proof of its worth. Philips offers excellent recording quality, and Kocsis' performances have full color, natural resonance, and an almost palpable presence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Bagatelles (14) for piano, Sz. 38, BB 50 (Op. 6)
1
1:25
2
0:50
3
0:49
4
1:06
5
1:05
6
1:48
7
2:12
8
2:09
9
2:11
10
2:10
11
2:03
12
4:01
13
2:14
14
2:00
Elegies (2) (Két elégia), for piano, Sz. 41, BB 49 (Op.8b)
15
6:47
16
7:58
Romanian Folk Dances (6) (Román népi táncok), for piano, Sz. 56, BB 68
17
1:05
18
0:28
19
0:55
20
1:24
21
0:27
22
0:55
Sonatina for piano (on Romanian folk tunes), Sz. 55, BB 69
23
1:35
24
0:36
25
1:46
Hungarian Folk Tunes (3), for piano, Sz. 66, BB 80b
26
1:00
27
1:07
28
1:49
blue highlight denotes track pick