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David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2020

So many lesser-known composers are indebted to the Czech pianist, Giorgio Koukl, and he now embarks on a series of the complete piano music of Tibor Harsanyi.

He was a pupil of Kodaly who lived in the first half of the 20th century, many of those years spent in Paris where his style of composing became linked with mainstream West European composers, always keeping within the traditions of tonality, and avoiding any contentious tendencies that surrounded him. He was to compose a sizeable quantity of music, the present disc covering the years 1924 to 1934, many constructed from numerous short pieces mostly reflected in their title, La Semaine (The Week) being in seven parts, each reflecting a day of the week, while Baby Dancing is pictured in the tempo of eight dances as diverse as the Fox-trot, Samba and the One-Step. The disc opens in more serious mode with Five Preludes Brefs, scores that have their roots in the Romantic era. We eventually arrive, via a slinky Vocalise-Elude ‘Blues’, at track 40, a virtuoso Presto to end Pieces Courtes, a score that owes more than a little to the French Impressionist composers. I suppose an unkind description would be ‘a disc of snippets’, but in the hands of Koukl they emerge as colourful gems, each one he has shaped with thought and affection. The recorded sound from Koukl’s favourite Swiss venue is, in every respect, superb. © 2020 David’s Review Corner



Records International, January 2020

Harsányi is usually 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 color. In his piano music, Harsányi drew on diverse source material, a free-spirited absorption of Hungarian traditions, neo-Baroque, the comic and jazz, as can be heard in the 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 color and verve. © 2020 Records International




Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, December 2019

…Koukl has done it again, rediscovered a neglected composer of great interest and, through his enthusiastic playing, made him interesting and vital. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review





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