Kálmán Balogh and Miklós Lukács
It takes two to bring out the wonderful subtlety and expressive power of the cimbalom.
Thus Kálmán Balogh and Miklós Lukács joined forces in 2009 to acquaint audiences with their art and the potential in this emblematic instrument. The result is novel and poignant; jazz meets folk under the flag of musical proficiency. At the initiative of the publisher the two virtuosos started experimenting in 2009, and the sessions soon turned into playful explorations accompanied by joking and ever new ways of beating the strings.
The fascinating skill and confident versatility enthral listeners: as Balogh relaxes and Lukács leads, audiences marvel.
2015 is yet another milestone in the life of the Duo. Their recently released album does not spare surprises. It is immediately clear that it was assembled with great enthusiasm, deriving inspiration mostly from folk music. The play of the Duo moves on a vast scale from pianissimo to fortissimo, loose tacts to strict dance rhythms, rigorously defined themes to free improvisations, always full of passion and spirit.
The cimbalom is an emblematic instrument often misjudged: the public identifies it with gipsy music played in restaurants. Much more than a stereotype on strings, its expressive range and universal appeal continues to impress listeners. An authentic Hungarian instrument invented by Josef Schunda in 1874, it was meant to provide a national version of the piano. 19th century drawing rooms saw the lady of the house gently hammering away, while a few decades later the cimbalom seems to have fallen out of favour. The Cimbalomduo helps revive this colourful and traditional instrument.
“… it is music for two cimbaloms, arranged and performed by the two leading players in Hungary today. When you hear the incredible virtuosity on display here and know the way the notes are laid out on the instrument, you soon realise it would be impossible to do this on one instrument without collisions of stick or getting arms entwined.” – Simon Broughton, Songlines, June 2010