Piano concerto No. 3, op. 47

I. Vivo II. Sostenuto III. Allegro con brio

 

The generation of Hungarian composers coming after Bartók and Kodály did not have it exactly easy. The two masters commanded such authority and the path they had defined was considered so unquestionable that very few succeeded in saying something really new, especially in the isolation of the 1950s. One of the few was Pál Kadosa, who is well remembered as a legendary professor of piano (he was the master of Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki, and András Schiff, among others) but whose compositions have been sadly neglected in the quarter-century that has elapsed since his death. 

 

Kadosa was a rare phenomenon in Hungarian music: he was a born symphonist, who created an outstanding orchestral oeuvre with his eight symphonies. To him, the Bartókian tradition meant more than a collection of stylistic traits; it was a state of being, which included performing his own piano concertos in the concert hall.

 

The third of Kadosa's four piano concertos was written in 1952-53 and revised two years later, at which point the composer wrote a brand-new finale. The stylistic novelty in the folk-song-based idiom, inherited from his elders, lies mainly in Kadosa's sophisticated contrapuntal writing and in such episodes as the middle section of the slow movement, described by Marianne Pándi as “turbulent, visionary music.”