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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very evocative music, beautifully-played., 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Bartók: Complete Solo Piano Works (Decca Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
I don't buy very many "complete works" boxed sets, but I came to love Bartok's piano music after first hearing some of the orchestrated versions by Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. I then went to a fabulous Prom concert by this combination playing some of these pieces in parallel with the solo piano versions performed by Andras Schiff.

Many commentators suggest that Hungarian music is best interpreted by Hungarian performers, and I see no reason to disagree. This is a fine set and astonishingly good value for money with 8 discs. Of course, many of the individual pieces are very short - sometimes less than a minute - but it's great to listen to in chunks - maybe the 6 Romanian Folk Dances or the 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs. However you do it, it'll carry you off to the heart of old Eastern Europe.

These recordings have been around for a while but don't show their age at all. They're a must for anyone with a "complete" fetish, but even if you think you only want a few of the pieces then I suggest you treat yourself to this set. You're bound to come across a few more little gems. And if you don't know the meaning of "rubato" before, then you'll certainly know the feeling of it afterwards.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars there cannot be better, 5 Nov 2011
This review is from: Bartók: Complete Solo Piano Works (Decca Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
This is a bench mark. There is not, and could not be, Bartok piano better than Kocsis, either in this beautiful collection (8 CDs) or in his equally splendid box (3 CDs) of the music for piano and orchestra. It's clean, dramatic, spicy music, admirably served by the pianist's marvellous range of tones, between which he can switch and veer at breathless speed and with pin-point accuracy. Whole villages come before your eyes in thirty seconds of a little dance. In quiet moments you prick up your ears. If you want to be convinced of the wonders of it, listen to the suite 'In the Open Air' - a few minutes' scene painting of astonishing vividness, with Kocsis catching every breath of this pared down but vibrant music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 July 2014
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Prof John Morrill "bottisham man" (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bartók: Complete Solo Piano Works (Decca Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
wonderful performances and superb 'natural' sound recording
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