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FARKAS Wind Quintets

Antiche danze ungheresi del 17. secolo for woodwind quintet
Gyümölcskosar (Fruit Basket Songs)
Lavottiana for woodwind quintet
Quattro Pezzi for double-bass and woodwind quintet
Rondo capriccio for violin and woodwind quintet
Serenade for woodwind quintet

Dieter Lange, double-bass
Ulrike Schneider, mezzo soprano
Daniel Dodds, violin
Phoebus Quintet
Christoph Bösch, flute
Barbara Zumthurn-Nünlist, oboe
Dimitri Ashkenazy, clarinet
Martin Roos, horn
Susan Landert, bassoon

Our piano teacher had a special interest in Eastern European music, so I had enjoyed learning some piano pieces by Ferenc Farkas (1905 - October 2000).

Farkas taught Kurtág, Ligeti and all the now senior composers in Hungary. He was prolific, with more than 700 works in all genres, including film music. There are echos of Bartok & Kodaly, folksong, and he "dusted off" soe pre-Baroque music, and (included here) and worked up some c 1800 "early Biedermeier" melodies, included here in a 1967 version for wind quintet. All the music is accessible but never boring, and he occasionally flirts with serialism, but never dogmatically.

The CD is a winner through the inclusion, amongst works for standard wind quintet, of three featuring soloists, double bass (his son played it), violin, and voice (Children's Songs). These have quirky, inconsquential texts and cry out to be sung by gifted children.

Perhaps the 10th anniversary of his death may generate a few UK Ferenc Farkas performances in the autumn? This disc could provide the ideal spur, if anyone influential hears it? Sample the music at http://www.toccataclassics.com/cddetail.php?CN=TOCC0019

Peter Grahame Woolf


Photo: Ferenc Farkas speaking with Witold Lutoslawski, 1956