The synthesis of modernism and folklore places Béla Bartók's pianistic works into a special position amongst twentieth century piano music. Nevertheless, they often play a subordinate role in the repertoire of pianists as it is difficult to place them stylistically, and because they present an enormous technical challenge. Both these aspects are connected to the background of Bartók's personality and his development: Bartók wanted to reconcile folklore and modernism without having to make artistic compromises, and he himself was one of the great pianists of the twentieth century who fashioned the technical design of his music according to his own outstanding manual skills. This programme, performed by the young French pianist Nicholas Bringuier, presents works by Bartók written between 1909 and 1926. The Romanian Folk Dances op. 8a are powerfully virtuosic examples of a free treatment of folkloristic models within an idiom which is heading towards New Music. His Quatre Nénies op. 9a, on the other hand, internalise ritual folk-tunes for mourning into an expression of melancholy and a strong sense of subjectivity. The Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs are already further removed from these models, whereas the Sonata and the Suite Out of Doors - both written in the "piano year" of 1926 - are dominated by a confident and sharpened idiom of new music. Their intellectual and manual requirements not only make these two works pinnacles of the Classical Modernism of the 1920s, but also provide a fascinating outlook towards further developments in piano music. It takes both a courageous and a superior interpreter to do justice to these works. Nicolas Bringuier has been a prize winner at several international piano competitions, e. g. the international "Grand Konzerteum" competition in Greece, the "Pro Piano Competition" in New York and the 14th International R. Schumann Piano Competition in Zwickau. Nicolas Bringuier has performed numerous concerts both in his native country and abroad. In 2006 he made his debut at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, in 2007 at the Konzerthaus in Berlin and in 2008 at the Opera Garnier in Monte Carlo. He regularly performs also as soloist with orchestras. Watch a video about Bringuier, Bartók, piano technique and Bringuier's personal approach to Bartók's music.