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A Folk Song Runs Through It / Rangell

Release Date: 07/30/2013 
Label:  Steinway & Sons   Catalog #: 30018  
Composer:  Leos JanácekBéla BartókZoltán Kodály
Performer:  Andrew Rangell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

“A free-thinker among pianists – a master of graded dynamics and the long crescendo. Rangell's consistently provocative playing and ideas are so interesting that we can hardly keep ourselves from appreciating them.”
-- International Record Review

"Rangell practices a light, often delicate touch on the piano, an approach that serves him well in the slower, airier scores. Nevertheless, he maintains a good deal of power in reserve, making his technique not only dramatically virtuosic but uncommonly sensitive and diverse as well. [A] fascinating look at Central European folk-art music just after the turn of the twentieth century." -- John J. Puccio, Classical Candor

"A great entry for
Read more classical music tourists that want to come into the tent without feeling overwhelmed, this set doesn't pander or dumb it down giving vets and newbies a place they can mingle comfortably. Wonderful stuff that'll add to your sophistication cache with little to no effort." -- Midwest Record Entertainment

"All of these pieces have something in common: lovability—a lovability that comes from their composers’ love for the people’s music... The pianist here is an American, Andrew Rangell, who plays the music very well: with sympathy for what it is, and love of it, I think. In addition, he has written top-drawer liner notes." -- Jay Nordlinger, New Criterion

"The folk origins of Hungarian and Czech piano music are the subject of this fascinating new album by pianist Andrew Rangell. Renowned as an interpreter of Bach and Beethoven, the pianist here turns his gaze on Bartok, Janacek and Kodaly, exploring lesser-known works and taking care to showcase how broad and powerful was the influence of folk song...the most intriguing offering is Bartok's "Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs." The piece with the most direct link to folk music is also the furthest ranging, full of odd turns and biting dissonances that in Rangell's hands sound as fresh and unpredictable as if they were penned yesterday."
-- Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer


A Folk Song Runs through It follows Andrew Rangell’s acclaimed 2012 release for Steinway, Bach’s Art of Fugue.

With this release, Andrew Rangell, known for his eloquent interpretations of Bach and Beethoven, reminds us of his breadth of repertoire and thoughtful, stimulating programming.

The creative achievements of Bartók, Janácek, and Kodály were nourished and stimulated by each composer’s deep, lifelong study of indigenous folk music. In the works presented here, folk-influence comes to the listener’s ear in ways ranging from the simple presentation of actual folk song to the reconstitution and transformation of folk materials to suit more complex structures. But the folk element, even when fully assimilated, is never lost. “A folk song runs through it.”
-- Andrew Rangell

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Works on This Recording

In the mists by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 05/08-09/2012 
Venue:  Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport 
Improvisations (8) on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20/Sz 74 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 05/08-09/2012 
Venue:  Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport 
Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 05/08-09/2012 
Venue:  Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport 
Pieces (7) for Piano, Op. 11 by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910-1918; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 05/08-09/2012 
Venue:  Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport 
Sonata for Piano, Sz 80 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 05/08-09/2012 
Venue:  Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport 

Featured Sound Samples

In the Mists (Janacek): I. Andante
Romanian Folkdances Sz 56 (Bartok): I. Joc cu bata (Stick Dance)
Pieces for Piano Op. 11 (Kodaly): IV. Epitaph. Rubato

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A Folk Song Runs Through It September 21, 2013 By Henry A. See All My Reviews "The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of artists infusing nationalism into their art, classical music being no exception. Nowhere was this more evident than in the Austria-Hungary Empire. For composers, such as those include on this disc, this meant the extended use of Hungarian folk songs in their music. A Folk Song Runs Through It is a quality collection of this art form, which includes five beautiful settings from three of the finest composers to write in the idiom. For the new classical music listener, this disc offers and excellent sampling of the folk song setting. It can be used as a jumping off point, from which you can begin to explore larger, symphonic settings of the style. For the seasoned listener, this disc showcases masterful performances of beloved Hungarian composers. Rangell’s captivating interpretations will make this recording an instant favorite, and one that you will return to again and again." Report Abuse
 Interesting folk inspired pieces from Bartok, Jan August 26, 2013 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This recording from Steinway & Sons features Andrew Rangell performing one work from Leos Janacek, 3 from Bela Bartok, and one From Zoltan Kodaly. Each of these pieces features snippets from, or is based upon, folk melodies that each composer had heard and was familiar with. First is a wonderful, wistful piece titled “In the Mists” from Janacek. The melodies are seemingly simple, but in reality playing them as gently and expressively as Mr. Rangell does is quite difficult, and for me this work was really the highlight of the entire recording. Next is “Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs” from Bela Bartok. This is a series of eight short pieces, each of which has a definite harmonic relationship to the next. There are some elements of discord in the music in the manner typical of Bartok’s musical lens, but on the whole the set of eight pieces work together very well. Following this is Bartok’s “Six Romanian Folk Dances”, each of which is based (according to the well written liner notes) based on a fiddle tune. This is a fun set of pieces, more enegertic than the previous set of eight pieces, and is definitely something that the Bartok lover should hear. Now we come to the Kodaly work, “Seven Pieces for Piano”. These Debussy influenced pieces (you just can’t miss this when you hear them), have a definite Debussy-like harmonic texture to them, while at the same time possessing Kodaly’s occasionally unique tonal choices. If you like Kodaly’s works on the whole, then this piece is definitely for you. Finally, we finish with Bartok’s “Sonata”, the only one that he ever wrote for piano. The Bartok feel is evident right away, with sweeping chords up and down the keyboard and choppy folk-like rhythms. If you enjoy Bartok’s string quartets, then this is right up your alley. This is all difficult music to bring to life, and Mr. Rangell again shows himself to be more than up to the task. That being said, for me I find I have to be in just the right “rainy-day” mood to really get in touch with these Bartok and Kodaly works, while Janacek’s “In the Mists” grabbed me the first time I heard it. So if you are a Bartok lover, then you definitely should give this well recorded disc a listen. On the other hand, if Bartok really isn’t for you, there is definite value in listening to “In the Mists”. I am glad I have this in my collection." Report Abuse
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