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Duets - Released October 27, 2017 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
Kodály's Sonata for solo cello remains one of the peaks of writing for the instrument, alongside Bach, and later, Britten, Hindemith, Bloch, Dutilleux and a very few others. One of the major characteristics of this 1915 work is that it obliges the soloist to undertake a perilous exercise known as scordattura: that is, two strings are tuned unusually, forcing the musician to play a position which would give a different note than expected - so it is as if, for example, the second and fourth gear positions on a gearstick put your car in fifth and first respectively. The idea is not so much to pi- errr, tick off the soloist, but rather to find other notes "from scratch", to favour other double-chords, different lengths, a completely different sound. In this instance, Kodály has been able to discover a whole new world of sound with the cello, which is troubling, remarkable, and infinitely profound. The Hungarian cellist István Várdai, who in 2008 won the prestigious Geneva Prize, and heaps of other such distinctions, rounds off the album with Sonata Op. 4 for cello and piano (1910, once performed in Paris with Bartók on the piano...), which is unusual in that it is missing the first movement, whereas normally unfinished works lack a final movement! In fact, there existed a "first" movement, but the composer abandoned it, so that we arrive directly into the Fantasia which served as a second movement. Várdai and Klara Würtz on the piano equally offered us a few little pieces including the 1922 Sonatine, which would turn out to be the composer's last great piece of chamber music. © SM/Qobuz