Zoltán Kocsis plays
Beethoven Schubert Bartók Kurtág Liszt

Les Pianos de la Nuit à La Roque d’Anthéron 2002

DVD Naïve DR 2100

DVD Kocsis La Roque 2002 Live

Live recording
Produced by Idéale Audience Paris
Directed by János Darvas

A remarkable recital by ZOLTÁN KOCSIS juxtaposes Liszt's nationalist and cryptic late styles (including the Fifth Hungarian Rhapsody and Csárdás macabre) with cannily selected miniatures by Bartók (For Children) and Kurtág (excerpts from Games, dedicated to Kocsis). The Pianist also bridges Beethoven's transitional, pre-late-period style (the E minor op. 90 Sonata) with early Schubert (two movements from his own Sonata in that same key, D566) into Bartók's thorny yet concise three-movement Sonata. János Darvas's camerawork occasionally lets us glimpse Kurtág's handwritten score from which Kocsis plays, and captures the pianist's calm, focused body language, prism-like sonority and elegantly proportioned phrasing.

Jed Distler
© BBC Music Magazine, November 2003

Beethoven  Sonata No.27 in E minor
Schubert  Sonata in E minor
Bartók  Sonate SZ 80
Bartók  For Children SZ 42 Vol.1 (excerpts)
Kurtág  Games (excerpts)
Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsody No.5 in E minor
Liszt  Les Jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este
Liszt  Sunt Lacrymae Rerum
Liszt  Csárdás Macabre

... Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók, three sonatas to start with and no mistake, three cardinal points to locate the personage who plays impassively, lip almost sullen, hands knotty, movement calibrated to the millimetre, with just the flicker of a glance from time to time as if to invite the audience to savour this or that modulation or to tell it between two pieces the silence in which he wishes to remain immersed. For the Kurtág, if he has the music in front of him it is not out of weakness nor from pride in being the dedicatee of the piece, but simply because, as the piece is open in structure, he wishes to have all the alternatives in front of his eyes. Yet it was Kurtág who had only one word – “horrible!” – for the Bach that Kocsis played him while still a student, not that this stopped the guilty party carrying off the Franz Liszt prize. It is Liszt from whom the cameras of János Darvas withdraw, focusing instead on the fingers of the artist, who from the Hungarian Rhapsody to Jeux d’eau possesses that most precious art of recreating works before one’s eyes.

Thierry Beauvert
© Idéale Audience 2003

János Darvas Home Page     TV and Video Productions with Zoltán Kocsis - Directed by János Darvas