Balassa - Complete Piano Music Vol.2 | Grand Piano GP804

Balassa - Complete Piano Music Vol.2


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Label: Grand Piano

Cat No: GP804

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 15th November 2019



Sándor Balassa’s distinguished reputation in his native Hungary and beyond rests in numerous operas and orchestral works. But here, the sheer diversity of his piano music equally provides ‘a feeling of richness, inspires a sense of adventure, and touches our hearts’. His sophisticated, lyrical style is heard in educational Sonatinas, adaptations of works both virtuoso and visionary originally for harp, cimbalom and harpsichord, and even include a Gallop in 3/4 time, justified by the composer as being about a three-legged horse.

István Kassai graduated as a pianist from the Budapest Academy of Music in 1982 studying in the class of Pál Kadosa. He pursued his second diploma at the Conservatoire Européen de Musique under professor Yvonne Lefébure. He also undertook several master courses, including one led by György Cziffra, who had a great impact on Kassai’s artistic development. During his career, Kassai has won several first prizes in competitions such as the International Piano Competition for Young Artists in Czechoslovakia, and the Paris International Debussy Piano Competition. He has been a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Art since 2013.

‘Collectors who own Balassa’s attractive and approachable orchestral releases which we’ve offered over the years on Hungaroton will be a little surprised at the genre of the miniature that he favors in at least these pieces here. Balassa’s uniquely sophisticated textures, timbres and lyrical style can be heard in works for young pianists, one of them originally written for cimbalom (Letters), and in the Baroque references and sweeping momentum of the Sonatina.’ – Records International on Vol.1 (GP803)

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