Kodaly: Music for Cello

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Bartok’s assessment of Zoltán Kodály’s music as “the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit” will strike a chord with those familiar with the suite from his opera Háry János, the Dances of Galanta or indeed the works for cello which moved the instrument on from the Romantic idiom of Brahms, and at the same time looked backwards to the dancing elegance of Bach’s solo Suites.

He had taught himself to play the cello to a reasonable standard (also the violin and viola) and while, as he freely admitted, not a natural virtuoso, he had a feeling for the instrument which is obvious in his writing. The Adagio was his first published work, dating from 1905 and originally written for violin and piano: still broadly Romantic in idiom, and unaffected as yet by his work in collecting folk songs from the countries of south-eastern Europe which would decisively influence his mature idiom.

Composer: Zoltán Kodály
Artist: István Várdai (cello)
Klara Würtz (piano)

00:00:00 Sonata for Cello in B Minor, Op. 8: I. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato
00:09:16 Sonata for Cello in B Minor, Op. 8: II. Adagio con gran espressione
00:20:46 Sonata for Cello in B Minor, Op. 8: III. Allegro molto vivace
00:32:26 Sonatina for Cello and Piano
00:41:12 Capriccio for Cello Solo
00:46:07 Adagio for Cello and Piano
00:53:55 Sonata, Op. 4: I. Fantasia
01:01:31 Sonata, Op. 4: II. Allegro con spirit

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