ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Hungarian Piano Music
WORKS: Works by Liszt, Dohndnyi, Koddly, Bartok, Weiner, Kurtag, Szollosy
PERFORMER: Peter Frankl (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 860 DDD
Frankl’s andiology provides a generous survey of a century of Hungarian piano music, from late Liszt (around 1885) to recent Szollosy (1988). All are distinctly Hungarian in their harmonies and rhythms, though it is interesting to note the shift from the gypsy influence upon Liszt to the more purely Magyar folk-inspired style of Bartok and his contemporaries.
Apart from an earlier Bartok disc, Frankl, perhaps best known for his Mozart, has been heard surprisingly little in music from his native country. This rewarding selection is thus all the more welcome. They may be mostly miniatures, but Frank! gives each its own weight, from Liszt in his more devilish mode to the neo-Baroque wit of the Dohnanyi.
He brings out the variety in the melancholy early Kodaly pieces whose folk-song-inspired style is coupled with Debussy’s influence (the Epitaph movement recalls the latter’s Cathedrale engloutie). By contrast, Frankl’s Dance Suite (Bart6k’s own solo piano transcription of his orchestral work) has fire and rhythmic verve. The pungent Kurtag and the dramatic, Lisztian Szollosy, commissioned by Frankl himself, also have their attractions. Matthew Rye