If I were to list the contents and performers on this disc it would be about five times longer than the review. You probably know that both composers went throughout Hungary taping folk songs and that these influenced their music. Probably, like me, you have never actually heard the original songs and maybe you hear vague traces of what sounds like folk music in the composers but not the specifics. Well, this disc takes you to that world.
We owe our deep gratitude to Arpad Joob who has taken the time to provide the specific, actual singing of the folk music and immediately afterwards the specific passage of music the composers wrote based on the folk music. This is just fascinating. The earliest, from 1906, is "The moon has shone into my windows". This tune was used by Bartók in his Hungarian Folksongs for voice and piano #6. There follows another 52 tracks of this compilation of music, 11 by Kodály.
The sound, as you might expect, from the originals, is distant and scratchy. The modern reproductions sound excellent and you can clearly hear the connections. This is an educational experience and education beats the alternative. It stimulates the brain. This disc belongs in the collection of every serious lover of classical music.
Copyright © 2003, Robert Stumpf II