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Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók

Valentina Tóth

Hungarian Horizon

  • Type CD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917252224
  • Catalog number CC 72522
  • Release date 22 March 2013
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About the album

“Music is a language everyone understands. When you communicate through music, there are no misunderstandings, there is no confusion.” That could be the artistic motto of Valentina Tóth (1994) – a young and highly promising pianist, a multi-talent who sings, dances, acts and plays the piano at an exceptionally high level. In 2009 she won first prize in the Princess Christina Piano Competition and her career has been on the up and up ever since. Skyrocketing. She is currently studying at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, but already she has been on the stage at Carnegie Hall, and April 2013 Challenge Classics released her first album.

Valentina's grandfather immigrated from Hungary to the Netherlands. At young age Valentina discovered within herself a deep connection with both old Hungarian folksongs and music of Hungarian composers. The deep emotions in this music inspired her to play the works of two great Hungarian composers for this album, Bartók and Kodály. It challenges her to make the different voices and colors of an orchestra sound through the piano and to express great and tiny feelings in this classical 20th century Hungarian music. It’s a beautiful combination of piano music, partly inspired by the old Hungarian folk tradition.

The Bagatelles, Op. 6, written in 1908, are an important link in the work of Bartók. In them it first become clear how hard the composer was working to find his own super-personalised musical language. The work dates from the time when Bartók seriously started to collect and document Hungarian folk music. Bartók was able to take something that had been around ages (Hungarian folk music) and make something entirely new out of it.

Tóth combines the Bagatelles and the Three Folk Songs from Csík (now Ciuc in Romania) by Bartók with the Seven Piano Pieces, Op. 11, and the Dances of Marosszék by Kodály. Kodály based the latter work on melodies and dances he had collected in the Marosszék region in Transsylvania, Romania. He originally wrote this fairy-tale-like music – nowadays seldom heard in the concert hall – for piano, and later adapted it for orchestra.

(Click on a track title to listen)

The spirit of Christmas is here again!


image The spirit of Christmas is here again! And pianist Valentina Tóth gives us a very special musical gift. She sings the words of a well known Hungarian Christmas song which composer Ernő Dohnányi used in his 'Pastorale on a Hungarian Christmas Song' and she plays the piece as well! So we can enjoy Valentina playing AND singing. Happy Christmas! Watch the video through this link. Video edit and camera by Valentine Laout Recorded at Pauluskerk in ...


Lilian Peters

June 3rd 2013 22:34
We truly enjoyed listening to Valentina\'s passionate music at her debute CD Hungarian Horizons. Thank you dear Valentina for making the world more beautiful with your presence and talent.

Lilian Peters

June 3rd 2013 22:34
We truly enjoyed listening to Valentina\'s passionate music at her debute CD Hungarian Horizons. Thank you dear Valentina for making the world more beautiful with your presence and talent.

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