Bartók | Schubert

by Gavin Gamboa

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Six pieces from Mikrokosmos, Vol. IV, Sz. 107, BB 105
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Sonata in A minor, D. 784
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Bartók, the Hungarian pianist, composer, proto-ethnomusicologist. His profound interest and analytical study of folk music is evident in a distinct style that integrates folk with classicism and modernism. Mikrokosmos (1926-1939), a collection of 153 miniature piano works, continue a standard of piano education similar to J.S. Bach's Well Tempered Clavier. The unique nature of these pieces are manifest in their unique harmonic awareness (Intermezzo), use of polyrhythms and irregular time signatures (Minor and Major), as well as a distinctly Eastern influence (From The Island Of Bali).

Schubert's Sonata in A minor (1823), a piece of tragic expressive darkness, itself a skeleton of sonata-allegro form, with minimum harmony and rhythm, transmits interstellar austerity and wonder. Removed are the ’themes’. Void, it is, of convention and of pleasing ornaments. Instead — a violence in key changes; an unrestrained chromaticism; a proclivity for banal repetition. The brooding effects of this piece unravel an agitated psychological dimension before the listener, counterbalanced by moments of sublime melody, and infinite longing; a mysterious ‘storm and urge’ towards surrender.

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Gavin Gamboa, piano
Recorded Live at Teatro Peón Contreras
Mérida, Yucatán, México
11/20/2012

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released December 17, 2012

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