Peter Lefor, my duet partner in this project, who died far too early, had a keen sense of these nuances and rightly pointed out time and again that Bartók had visited Balkan villages for months as a young man and had studied the disappearing playing and singing practices there. We could hear his recordings on the phonograph and you could see how complicated it was to write down these folk musical unpredictabilities. As if one wanted to cast the nuances of a dialect into symbols. But this is actually always the case with musical notation. A lesson therefore also in detecting the illegible in musical texts, even in those that easily deceive us by apparent complexity – or by apparent simplicity!
In addition to a few concerts, we have recorded the cycle twice, once for ORF and once for recordings. This recording was first released as LP and later as CD. In the Bartók memorial year of 1995 it was presented by the New York Times as a reference recording for the cycle.