After the success of the recent recording of works by Veress and Bartók, which won both a Gramophone Award and a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2020, the Lockenhaus Festival series, curated by its artistic director Nicolas Altstaedt, continues its journey through central Europe with Antonín Dvorák and his famous ‘Dumky’ Trio, named after a genre of Slavonic folksong generally performed by blind wandering minstrels who accompanied themselves on the kobza or bandura (twelve-string lute). Dvorák, whose father played the zither, immersed himself in this music and creatively translated its substance into his own music. The trio was premiered in 1891 and, in response to its ecstatic reception, Dvorák decided to perform it during his grand farewell tour before leaving for the United States. Zoltán Kodály’s Duo for violin and cello (1914), which completes the program, also bears witness to the influence of folk music.
Barnabás Kelemen has the passion, the imagination, the intelligence, the sense of place and ethnicity, the style, and the allfacilitating technique to bring the 'earth and-air' masterpieces of Bartók and Kodály fully to life, the loose-limbed manner of his phrasing as flexible as any folk fiddler, his tonal range and the agility of his bow varying from bar to bar. No player currently treading the boards is quite as exciting and this extraordinary disc finds him in intimate and animated musical conversation with like-minded musicians.
Every phrase is carefully considered, and each one is communicated with passion. Everywhere there is a wealth of fascinating detail…Some may find the players’ approach a little too intense, but for wholehearted commitment these performances are outstanding.