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Janos Tamas: Piano Concerto; Early Piano Works

Tamas / Dratva / Kammerorchester Basel / Goodwin
Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Oehms   Catalog #: 750   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Janos Tamas
Performer:  Tomas Dratva
Conductor:  Paul Goodwin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

TAMÁS Piano Concerto 1. Lichtspiel. Improvisations. Eisblumen Tomas Dratva (pn); 1 Paul Goodwin, cond; Basel Chamber Orchestra OEHMS OC 750 (56:47)

János Tamás, who died in 1995 at age 59, grew up in Hungary, but emigrated to Switzerland in 1956, where he remained, becoming a major figure in Swiss musical culture. His roots, though, are especially evident in this Piano Read more Concerto, which was written in 1965 on speculation, and not premiered until 2009 by the Swiss-based pianist who also made this recording. It is an obvious homage to Bartók, brilliant and propulsive, but it is not imitative. Tamás makes effective and original use of the brass, with rippling choruses echoing patterns in the solo piano writing. The three-movement work is carefully constructed and quite entertaining, if not almost tiresome in its consistently high energy level. It would make a good concert piece and should be heard by a larger audience, although that would require more than a little effort. According to the notes, one of the reasons it took so long to premiere it is because the original dedicatee, Karl Engel, could not find the time to learn the difficult score.

The beguiling solo piano music is also very interesting, but at a much lower temperature. The brief Lichtspiel (Display of Lights), from 1971, is a study in pianistic color, consisting mainly of delicate trills on the top half of the keyboard. The Improvisations , despite the title, sounds well formed, thoughtful, and mainly calm, imbued with a kind of post-Ravel harmonic sensibility. The lovely Eisblumen , consisting of 14 fleeting gems of subtle variety, is well known in Switzerland, especially as a pedagogical vehicle. It seems as if Tamás made a profound impression in his adopted home. Judging from the music on this well-played release, he deserves a wider reputation than that.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for piano & orchestra by Janos Tamas
Performer:  Tomas Dratva (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Goodwin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1965 
Date of Recording: 02/10/2009 
Venue:  Live  Kultur- und Kongresshaus Aarau 
Length: 20 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Lichtspiel (Display of lights), for piano by Janos Tamas
Performer:  Tomas Dratva (Piano)
Written: 1971 
Date of Recording: 08/26/2009 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zurich 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Improvisations, for piano by Janos Tamas
Performer:  Tomas Dratva (Piano)
Written: 1959 
Date of Recording: 08/26/2009 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zurich 
Length: 10 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Frost flowers, miniatures (14), for piano by Janos Tamas
Performer:  Tomas Dratva (Piano)
Written: 1977 
Date of Recording: 08/26/2009 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zurich 
Length: 18 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Concerto: II. Adagio, molto tranquillo
Piano Concerto: III. Allegro con fuoco
Improvisationen: No. 1. Largo
Improvisationen: No. 2. Sanft bewegt
Improvisationen: No. 3. Andante
Improvisationen: No. 4. Andantino
Improvisationen: No. 5. Allegro ma non troppo e capriccioso
Eisblumen: No. 1. Elegy
Eisblumen: No. 2. Meditation
Eisblumen: No. 3. Question
Eisblumen: No. 4. Lullaby
Eisblumen: No. 5. Nocturnal reflections
Eisblumen: No. 6. Fog
Eisblumen: No. 8. Departure
Eisblumen: No. 9. Solitude
Eisblumen: No. 10. Dusk
Eisblumen: No. 11. Twilight
Eisblumen: No. 12. Foreboding
Eisblumen: No. 13. Evening
Eisblumen: No. 14. Frost Flowers

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