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András Keller
János Pilz
Béla Bartók 44 Duos for Two Violins

András Keller violin
János Pilz violin
 
44 Duos for Two Violins
Ballad
Dance
Ligatura ­ Message to Frances-Marie

Recorded October 1999
ECM New Series 1729
 
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Bartók's 44 Duos, rich in folk melodies, are augmented by two pieces by Ligeti and Kurtág, in an all-Hungarian programme. Jewelled miniatures of 20th century music, performed by András Keller and János Pilz - violinists of Hungary's renowned Keller Quartet, and outstanding musicians steeped in the Bartókian tradition. These are beautiful, touching, dazzling performances. Bartók's "44 Duos for Violin" ­ like his Mikrokosmos for piano ­ are pieces that transcend their original pedagogic intention to stand by themselves as perfectly poised works. (Every violin student should own this album, but it is also music for a much wider public.) All but two of the duos are based on folk music, of many sources. Here, Hanns Eisler's judgement is relevant: "Had Bartók written nothing but his arrangements of Romanian, Slovakian and Hungarian peasant songs and dances, he would nonetheless number among the great masters in the history of music. He is highly original and highly popular at the same time."