Review

Gramofon
Winter 2007-2008

EMANUEL MOÓR: THREE SONATAS FOR CELLO AND PIANO

Hungaroton Classic - HCD 32462

The wonderful Szabó-Krausz duo has this time contributed to the Hungaroton series of first recordings and specialties with the discovery of the completely forgotten Emanuel Moór (1863-1931). The Kecskemét-born Moór, a musician from the turn of the century, who in the following decade travelled widely, gave many concerts and was well-known name throughout Europe. He was a hopeless eccentric and a true renaissance man, a pianist, organist, conductor, inventor, artist, architect and last but not least a composer of wide variety. But modernity does not favour Renaissance man; he breaks the synchrony between the universe and the universal man. The Renaissance man either lags behind his era or precedes it, in his universe the calendar works to a different time structure. Many of his human actions foreshadow the great movements, say of the avant-garde, his instrumental inventions also point to a future era, but as a composer he also possesses some sort of an ancient craft ethos; the craftsman’s ability to faultlessly create an opus without taking any risk. It does not matter that all three duo sonatas on the disc are in a Brahms-minor key; had the general musical knowledge of Europe at that time been dominated by a different model, the sensitive Moór would have made that his own with equal, perfect self-confidence. If a critic cannot sum up the value of this discovery, it is perhaps due to the disarming level of the two artists’ performance, which eventually teaches us that we must bow to the grandeur of Brahms, even through the music of his followers. Maybe craft ethos is indeed the future.

Bálint Veres

Translation by Susan Kapás

Péter Szabó cellist, conductor, music editor
Péter Szabó's recordings are available on Amazon.com: