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HARSÁNYI, TIBOR (1898–1954)

Complete Piano Works • 1


  • Giorgio Koukl, piano

Tibor Harsányi is always associated with ‘L’École de Paris’, a loosely knit collection of expatriate composers living in the city, among them Martinů, Tansman and Tcherepnin. He embraced music from a wide variety of sources, notably from North and South America, and this enriched his own music’s rhythmic vitality and sense of colour.

In his piano music, Harsányi drew on diverse source material, a free-spirted absorption of Hungarian traditions, neo-Baroque, the comic and jazz, as can be heard in the 5 Préludes brefs. Baby-Dancing draws on the foxtrot, Boston, czárdás and samba, while La Semaine, seven pieces, one for each day of the week, contains nocturnes of stillness, off-beat folk songs and a wealth of colour and verve.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Steinway, Model D

Tracklist

 
5 Préludes brefs (1928) (00:10:00 )
1
No. 1. Lento * (00:02:54)
2
No. 2. Allegro * (00:01:37)
3
No. 3. Allegretto grazioso * (00:01:28)
4
No. 4. Allegro * (00:01:21)
5
No. 5. Lento * (00:02:22)
 
La Semaine (1924) (00:11:00 )
6
No. 1. Pour lundi: Allegro agitato molto * (00:01:13)
7
No. 2. Pour mardi: Allegretto grazioso * (00:01:04)
8
No. 3. Pour mercredi: Andante cantabile * (00:01:55)
9
No. 4. Pour jeudi: Tempo di Fox-trot * (00:01:31)
10
No. 5. Pour vendredi: Allegretto sostenuto * (00:01:27)
11
No. 6. Pour samedi: Allegro * (00:01:39)
12
No. 7. Pour dimanche: Sostenuto * (00:02:18)
 
Pastorales (1934) (00:07:00 )
13
No. 1. Prélude: Allegro giusto, ben ritmato * (00:01:28)
14
No. 2. Elégie: Allegretto quasi andantino * (00:01:42)
15
No. 3. Musette: Allegro ma non troppo * (00:01:48)
16
No. 4. Danse: Allegro giocoso * (00:01:27)
 
Baby-Dancing (1934) (00:11:00 )
17
No. 1. Fox-Trot: Allegretto * (00:01:10)
18
No. 2. Tango: Andante quasi allegretto * (00:01:12)
19
No. 3. Boston: Andantino * (00:01:32)
20
No. 4. Csárdás I: Allegretto - No. 5. Csárdás II: Vivo * (00:02:44)
21
No. 6. Blue: Andantino * (00:01:59)
22
No. 7. Samba: Allegro * (00:01:16)
23
No. 8. One-Step: Allegretto * (00:01:07)
 
Bagatelles (1930) (00:10:00 )
24
No. 1. Tempo di marcia * (00:01:46)
25
No. 2. Andante * (00:02:18)
26
No. 3. Allegretto scherzando * (00:02:24)
27
No. 4. Lento * (00:01:42)
28
No. 5. Allegro * (00:01:53)
 
5 Études rythmiques (c1933) (00:10:00 )
29
No. 1. Allegro vivace * (00:02:17)
30
No. 2. Moderato cantabile ma ben ritmato * (00:01:46)
31
No. 3. Allegro giocoso * (00:01:32)
32
No. 4. Quasi andantino * (00:02:25)
33
No. 5. Allegro giusto * (00:01:46)
34
Vocalise-étude, "Blues" (version for piano) (1929) * (00:02:42)
 
6 Pièces courtes (1927) (00:09:00 )
35
No. 1. Tempo di marcia * (00:02:29)
36
No. 2. Andante * (00:01:44)
37
No. 3. Allegro * (00:01:24)
38
No. 4. Lento * (00:01:01)
39
No. 5. Allegro ma non troppo * (00:01:07)
40
No. 6. Presto * (00:01:15)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:09:45

The Artist(s)

Giorgio Koukl Giorgio Koukl is a pianist/harpsichordist and composer. He was born in Prague in 1953 and studied there at the State Music School and Conservatory. He continued his studies at both the Conservatories of Zürich and Milan, where he took part in the masterclasses of Nikita Magaloff, Jacques Février and Stanislas Neuhaus, and with Rudolf Firkušný, friend and advocate of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů. It was through Firkušný that Koukl first encountered Martinů‘s music, prompting him to search out his compatriot’s solo piano works. Since then he has developed these into an important part of his concert repertoire and is now considered one of the world’s leading interpreters of Martinů‘s piano music, having recorded that composer’s complete solo piano music, together with five discs of Martinů‘s vocal music and two discs of his piano concertos. As a logical continuation of this work, Koukl has recorded the complete solo piano works of Paul Le Flem, Alexander Tcherepnin, Arthur Lourié, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Witold Lutosławski, and, more recently, Alexandre Tansman, Tibor Harsányi and Alfons Szczerbiński.

The Composer(s)

Tibor Harsányi Hungarian-born pianist, composer, conductor, and musicologist Tibor Harsányi was part of the lively Paris musical scene from 1923. He was a student of Kodály in Budapest, then travelled around Europe as a performer, settling briefly in Holland, where he worked as a conductor. Harsányi was a prolific composer of chamber music, solo piano works, and songs, as well as opera and ballet.

Reviews

“Giorgio Koukl—with his clear commitment to the music he plays that is evident throughout (as always!)—has once again opened our ears to one more hitherto neglected composer. As a result of this disc and with more to come, Harsányi will emerge from obscurity into the light of deserved recognition” – MusicWeb International

The Art Music Lounge

“Koukl has done it again, rediscovered a neglected composer of great interest and, through his enthusiastic playing, made him interesting and vital.” – The Art Music Lounge