This new version by the greatly-gifted young Hungarian pianist Zoltan Kocsis, again vindicates the contention that The Art of Fugue makes its best effect as a keyboard work, even if on a modern piano. For Kocsis Bach's intellectual and technical demands seem to pose no problems: his exposition of the polyphonic conversation, whether, two, three or four participants are involved, is always admirably lucid and enables each voice to have its say. This is no doubt helped by the rather dry quality of the Hungaroton/ Philips recording on LP (the CD is appreciably fuller and brighter), and by Kocsis's very discreet use of the sustaining pedal.
In the chamber works recorded here, spanning Kodály’s career, we can hear an unwavering desire to place genuine Hungarian folk music (rather than the ‘style hongrois’ espoused by the Strauss family and many other composers) within classical music traditions. Bartók wrote of his compatriot that ‘if I were to name the composer whose works are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit, I would answer, Kodály’.