Levente Kende
chamber music hall Concertgebouw Bruges
Bartók fans in Flanders and thereabouts, watch out! A pianist is devoting three evenings in as many cities (Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges) to the complete piano works of your favourite composer. This difficult feat is being pulled off by Levente Kende, a celebrated teacher and for several years now a fixture on European concert platforms. As a child in Hungary, Kende learnt his trade working through 'Mikrokosmos', a hundred and fifty-three piano pieces of progressive difficulty, ranging from beginner to virtuoso level. More than a progressive method of teaching, however, it is an advertisement for his innovative composition techniques. He couples the achievements of Bach and Beethoven to the revolutionary harmonies of Debussy and particularly to the quirky modes and jerky rhythms of Balkan folk music. The paradox is that, in those old melodies, he found the raw material with which to construct his modernism. Taken together, all his piano works delineate an impressive evolution. Beginning as an itinerant interpreter of Liszt, Bartók through his own efforts hauled himself out of the morass of overblown Late Romanticism. The result is piano music of both unique character and virtually inexhaustible inventiveness. It's not often that we get the chance to hear Bartók's complete piano works, so don't miss this one!
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