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Dip Your Ears, No. 18 (Fun and Mischief with Bartók's Mikrokosmos)

available at Amazon
B. Bartók,
Huguette Dreyfus
Harmonia Mundi

An army of quirky tin soldiers, coming your way

"Curiosita" is the name of the new, mid-price series of Harmonia Mundi. Rather than churning out old mainstays from the back catalogue, it devotes itself to works off the beaten path (from the back catalogue) and rewards those listeners who are, well, curious. Bartók’s Mikrokosmos is a wonderful example. And as if those dozens and dozens of keyboard miniatures weren't obscure enough, here they come in a surprise account played on the clavecin. That, as it turns out, is the "kicker." In these 1969 recordings, Mme. Dreyfus (C. Rousset's teacher) makes books 3 to 6 the most charming, gainful, rhythmical little things—like an army of small mechanical toys on a mission of fun and mischief. Questioning his preference for Mikrokosmos on piano vs. clavecin (a Bartók suggestion), i.e. "hammered" or "plucked," an ARG reviewer went so far as to say that in order to want to listen to the whole set you'd have to be hammered in the first place. This disc proves that wrong. Expect rather to become curiously drunk with excitement.

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