Bartok: Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs; For Children, Vol. 1; Six Romanian Folk Dances; Three Rondos on Folk Tunes; Three Hungarian Folk Songs from Csík; Sonatina; Evening in the Country

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COMPOSERS: Bartok
LABELS: Vanguard
WORKS: Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs; For Children, Vol. 1; Six Romanian Folk Dances; Three Rondos on Folk Tunes; Three Hungarian Folk Songs from Csík; Sonatina; Evening in the Country
PERFORMER: Lili Kraus (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: OVC 8087 ADD
Bartók’s idiosyncratic transformation of Hungarian and related folk music succeeds in ‘giving the [folk] songs their inherent virility, passion and tenderness through his harmonic invention and daring’. Thus Lili Kraus – herself a student of the composer – introduces this engaging Bartók recital. Kraus’s subtle flexibility and lively spontaneity, particularly in the first volume of For Children and the Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs, produce colourful, vividly evocative performances of these perfectly cast miniatures that bear the unmistakable imprint of authenticity. Kocsis’s (Philips) or Béroff’s (EMI) versions may be better recorded, but the bright acoustic given to Kraus creates a natural presence for her authoritative accounts. Nicholas Rast

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