Pasqualotto, Francesco

Bla Bartk, Giuseppe D'amico: Piano Works

In music, "modes" are ways of organizing pitches. The Western Classical tradition allowed two main modes to emerge (the major and the minor), but both church music and folk music continued to employ a larger variety of modes. They thus provide modern composers with new resources for a greater melodic variety. Bla Bartk turned to folk music and to its modes in order to rejuvenate the musical language. He collected thousands of Hungarian folksongs and employed them in his works, among which are the Three Hungarian Folksongs from the Csk District, based on tunes played to him by an old flutist, the 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs, written before and after World War I, and the magnificent Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs where the folk material is beautifully incorporated within Bartks own style. This album also comprises some works by G. DAmico, written between 2021 and 2023. As we saw, in fact, the works by Bartk performed in this CD are highly indebted toward the folk tradition he loved and studied. Two of the immediate consequences of his debt of gratitude are found in his use of varied rhythms and of the melodic modes. In the works by G. DAmico we also find an extensive use of modality, both in the pieces called Impressioni modali and in the Danze fantastiche. This latter cycle is particularly close to Bartks works (particularly to the 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs), directly inspired by folk dance.

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