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Cat. No. CHAN 6625 Price: £4.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 6625 - Bartok/ Wiener/Enescu: Folk Inspirations
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Available From: 20 July 2000
The greatest composer of his country, Bartók was responsible, along with his friend Kodály, for awakening a serious interest in Hungarian folk music. The ‘Hungarian Pictures’ completed in 1931 are derived from earlier piano pieces, based on actual folk songs or dances, or simply taken from the peasant idiom in which Bartók was so thoroughly steeped.

Weiner’s enthusiasm for folk music came later in his life, after 1921, and inevitably owed much to the activities of Bartók and Kodály. He still continued to treat the folksong material symphonically in a very conservative way and the ‘Hungarian Folkdance Suite’ has more in common with Liszt or Brahms than his contemporaries. Each movement is as much a miniature tone poem or mood-picture as a dance and all are characterised by his usual craftsmanship, drama and colour.

Enescu lived mainly outside his native land and spent much time composing, playing and teaching. Due to the scope of his talents and energies he was unable to give much time to composition or to promoting it. The two ‘Romanian Rhapsodies’ are the works by which he is best known today, but are works that he wanted to leave behind as his music developed and matured beyond them. They should not be derided for this popularity as it is justly deserved. The first employs a large number of tunes, all stitched or strung together in a way which recalls the origin of the ‘rhapsody’; in ancient Greece the ‘rhapsodists’ were ‘song-stitchers’ who roamed the country reciting fragments of Homeric epics. While the first Rhapsody is fast and loose the second is predominantly slow and concentrated and based on fewer themes although these themes are used and developed to the limit of their lyrical qualities.
Reviews

‘Järvi and the Philharmonia play for all they are worth… This disc is highly recommended.’
Fanfare

‘The Hungarian Pictures – everyday images of country folk – are despatched with charm and muscle and a sharp regional accent.’
Gramophone

‘Enescu’s dazzling first Romanian Rhapsody and lyrical second Rhapsody receive exemplary recordings – gorgeous in coloration and wonderfully clear and precise in textural balance and clarity.’
Stereo Review

The Hungarian Sketches are by far the best on record… a beautiful recording, and the price is right’.
American Record Guide

 

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