60162 - excellent surveys of Galís keyboard music in committed performances

In his youth Gál had been a competent organist so it is no surprise he used the instrument often. The major item on István Mátyásís disc ó though not the longest ó is the Toccata (1928), revealing Gál the thinker in large structures. Neither the Prelude and Fugue nor Phantasie, Arioso and Capriccio (both written in 1956 but not assigned opus numbers) scale the same heights, delightful pieces as they are. The 1948 Concertino is thoroughly engaging with real charm. Membranís SACD recording is good though not sensational, although in the Two Sacred Songs (1923) - which provide welcome textual variation - soprano Adrineh Simonian is placed too far forward. The performances are uniformly fine in a most welcome addition to the catalogue.
Gramophone - June 2007 01.06.2007