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József Sári Music for brass and dulcimers

Five Movements from the Eight Cimbalom Duos
The Metamorphoses of Don Genaro
Es ist vollendet...
The Awakening of Phoenix
Six Fanfares 14

Brass in the Five: Péter Soós - horn László Simai, Tamás Tóth – trumpet
Péter Burget – trombone, Tibor Takács – tuba
Ilona Szeverényi, ldikó Vékony, Tünde Czimer, Éva Sóvágó - cimbalom
Tamás Farsang - trombone
Zoltán Molnár - trumpet (6-9, 14-19)

BMC CD 019 - Total time: 59 mins

Here is a real discovery, a CD originally produced in 1999, but received in up-to-the-minute presentation and in an alluring card case, and with one of the best and most lucid expositions of a composer's credo that I have read. Kurtág tells us that by going his own way, József Sári "developed his style, which has close links to the great musical traditions of Europe and yet remains encaptivatingly original - - the sort of musician-phenomenon who might have been characteristic of the Middle Ages".

Serendipitously, there is little I need to say, because so much information is available on the BMC Records website, which I urge you to visit, and where you can read József Sári's essay (in full and in excellent English) and listen to one-minute sound samples of every track to demonstrate the high recording values. Those for dulcimer (cimbalom) duo will certainly grab you.

Is new music which makes an immediate impression of both originality and comprehensibility suspect, a cop out? I certainly have felt so with much of the early minimalist persuasion, but not so here. There is a security in Sári's craftsmanship which gives confidence. The music is mostly concise, and movements of composite pieces well contrasted. The 10 minute solo for horn is remarkable and the 'rhythmical glissandi' used as a structural element are stunning.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Peter Grahame Woolf