From Liszt to Bartók • The influence of folk music

  1. Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9
  2. Ravel: Tzigane
  3. Hungarian folk songs:
  4. Bartók: Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs – for piano, Op. 20
  5. Janáček: String Quartet No. 2
  6. Bartók: Sonata
    Réka Annus [3] – voice, Ágnes Langer [1, 2] – violin, Tamás Zétényi [1] – cello, Balázs Demény [6], János Palojtay [1, 2, 4] – piano, Classicus Quartet [5]
    The members of Classicus Quartet:
    József Rácz, Réka Baksai – violin, Péter Tornyai – viola, Tamás Zétényi – cello

Liszt still considered Gypsy music as the authentic form of folk music, and paraphrased it in his Hungarian Rhapsodies as the apotheosis of “exotic virtuosity.” They are not unlike the “Spanish capriccios” of various composers, of which Ravel’s Tzigane is an example.

As he learned more and more about peasant music, Bartók recognized the power of simplicity, the pure brilliance polished perfect over the centuries. The original folk songs and the Improvisations based on them will be performed at the concert one after the other. Like Bartók, the Moravian Leoš Janáček drew inspiration from folk music. Though he did not paraphrase concrete material, his works shimmer with the aura of folk art.