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Bartok: Piano Works / Tiberghien

Release Date: 10/28/2016 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 68133   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the final year of his life, Béla Bartók wrote about his remarkable set of Fourteen Bagatelles (1908) in the draft of his Introduction to Béla Bartók Masterpieces for the Piano: ‘A new piano style appears as a reaction to the exuberance of romantic piano music of the nineteenth century; a style stripped of all unnecessary decorative elements, deliberately using only the most restricted technical means.’ The title of this volume of brief pieces patently alludes to Beethoven’s three sets of bagatelles and literally intimates works of little significance. Ironically, Bartók’s pieces, though slight in duration, betoken a very significant development of his musical language, and—in the fourth and fifth Read more bagatelles—a novel approach to the setting of Hungarian and Slovak folk tunes. Mikrokosmos can be regarded as a lexicon of Bartók’s musical style and many of its basic elements are clearly laid out within its pages. These include: the overlay of black and white notes across the hands in the beautiful little character piece Boating; the use of alternating metres in Change of time (which references the style of the Romanian Christmas carols known as Colinde) and in Unison (regarded as the first piece of the entire collection to be composed); a generally very fluid tonal and harmonic language that draws on both his experience of traditional music and the radical developments of his contemporaries; the use of counterpoint and imitation in Staccato and legato and of mirror symmetry between the hands in Fourths; and the rhythmic drive and syncopation that sometimes results in riff-like passages such as are found in Staccato. At the heart of the set lies the exquisite Major seconds broken and together, whose mundane title gives no hint of its expressive content. This is symptomatic of the volume as a whole—although the titles may sound emotionally neutral, the pieces themselves are far from it and they range through the full gamut of sensations from sombre contemplation to the highest of spirits. Read less

Works on This Recording

Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Bagatelles (14) for Piano, Op. 6/Sz 38 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Budapest, Hungary 
Allegro barbaro for Piano, Sz 49 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Budapest, Hungary 
Improvisations (8) on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20/Sz 74 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Budapest, Hungary 
Mikrokosmos, Sz 107: Book 5 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926-1939; Budapest, Hungary 

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