- Mikrokosmos Vol. 6, progressive pieces (14) for piano, Sz. 107/6, BB 105/140-153
While Cédric Tiberghien's recordings consist mostly of Romantic piano music, with a strong representation of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms, he has taken an avid interest in the modernist music of Béla Bartók, which he has been recording for Hyperion since 2014. This CD, the first of three albums devoted to the solo keyboard works, offers a broad sampling of compositions dating from 1908 to 1939, showing the diversity of styles, subjects, and techniques that preoccupied Bartók, not only in his piano pieces but also in his chamber and orchestral music. One of the most evocative pieces is "The night's music" (track eight) from "Out of doors," an example of the eerie nocturnal effects that Bartók exploited in his other instrumental works, such as the "String Quartet No. 5" and the "Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta." Also notable is "A bit drunk" (track 26) from "Three Burlesques," which is perhaps better known in its orchestrated version in Bartók's "Hungarian Sketches." While the rest of the album is seemingly more technical and abstract, many of the pieces are infused with Hungarian and Bulgarian folk music and reveal the strong influence Bartók's musicological research had on his compositions. Tiberghien's playing is clean and energetic, and he has mastered the complexities of Bartók's rhythms and textures, which put this music in the virtuoso's repertoire. Hyperion's sound is clear but dry, which works quite well with Bartók's sharply accented music.