Csaba Szabó (1936–2003) composed music in almost all genres: orchestral and vocal/choral-orchestral works, chamber music, songs, choral works, staged works, incidental musical for theatre and solos. From this important and varied oeuvre, this recording presents the complete works for piano solo of Csaba Szabó. His piano pieces were composed over a period of almost three decades, between 1955 and 1981, and it is striking to hear the extraordinary transformations in form, technique and richness of message that the composer’s style has undergone.
Hungarian composer and musicologist Csaba Szabó was born in Ákosfalva (Acățari), Transylvania (Romania), in 1936 and graduated in composition from the G. Dima Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) under the tutelage of Gábor Jodál and János Jagamas, themselves both students of Zoltán Kodály.
His first piano pieces are youthful compositions in which – beyond an abundant joy of composing for the piano – we discover the composer’s preferences and sources of inspiration: the appreciation of classical formal structures in the Studies: Vivace e Trio and playful Scherzando; the variation form (the composer’s favourite) in the 5 Variations; expressive and dramatic virtuosity in the Bagatel and the Little Suite’s Toccatino ungharese movement; and the accumulation of percussive effects in the Dance with the Fate.
His studies and research into folk music led to inspiration from folk-song: the four movements of the Little Suite are a fine example of this, but perhaps even more beautiful are the Roaming Tune and the large-scale variations Moving away. The Parlando, Giusto e Corale, written in 1973, surprises the listener with a truly avant-garde turn.
- Recorded September 2022 in Budapest, Hungary
- Booklet in English contains liner notes by Enikő Gyenge and a profile of the artist
- Csaba Szabó (1936-2003), Hungarian composer and musicologist, was born in Ákosfalva, Transylvania (Romania). Until today, the majority of Romania's ethnic Hungarian minority lives in areas that were formerly part of Hungary, e.g. in Transylvania, like Csaba Szabó. He graduated as a composer under the tutelage of the Zoltán Kodály students Gábor Jodál and János Jagamas at the G. Dima Academy of Music in Cluj, Romania. He began his career as a conductor and composer of the State Szekler Folk Ensemble of Târgu Mures (Hungarian: Marosvásárhely), Romania. Later he became a teacher of music theory, music history and the rhythm and intonation of Hungarian speech at the István Szentgyörgyi Theater Institute in the same city. In 1987, when Szabó informed the relevant Romanian authorities that he wished to move his residence to Hungary, he was suspended from his position at the college and his works were deleted from the national repertoire. After his relocation, he was a teacher at the Dániel Berzsenyi College in Szombathely, Hungary, from 1988 until his death.".
- Given his background it is no wonder that Szabó as a composer was deeply influenced by the Folklore and Folk Music of his Hungarian roots, incorporating them into his own personal musical language.
- The piano pieces were composed over a period of almost three decades, between 1955 and 1981, and it is striking to note the extraordinary transformations in form, technique and richness of emotion that the composer's style has undergone. He is open to all influences that 20-th century music offer, and makes full use of the tonal and percussive possibilities of the piano.
- Played by Hungarian pianist József Balog, whose brilliant technique and sensitive, profound musicianship have won him critical acclaim and the enthusiasm of the audience.