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Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

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Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116, etc.

Bartók:

Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116

Enescu:

Romanian Rhapsody in A major, Op. 11 No. 1

Romanian Rhapsody in D major, Op. 11 No. 2


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Bartók: Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113, etc.

Bartók:

Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113

Janacek:

Idyll for String Orchestra

Suite for string orchestra, JW 6/2


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

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Chandos - CHAN9816

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Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Sz. 48, Op. 11

Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Sz. 48, Op. 11

Sung in English (translation by Chester Kallman)


Sally Burgess (Judith), Sir John Tomlinson (Duke Bluebeard/Minstrel)

Opera North Orchestra, Richard Farnes

“This new version… is splendidly recorded, and Farnes coaxes some superb playing from the orchestra. Sally Burgess makes a fine Judith, bringing out the firmness of her love for Bluebeard, as well as her vulnerability. …Tomlinson… is as commanding as ever, and to listen to this performance as a whole is to marvel anew at the richness and inventiveness of Bartók's score.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2006 *****

“This recording grew from performances by Opera North but the absence of a visual element hardly matters. Nor in this instance does the language issue either. Bluebeard is perfect food for the mind's theatre, the tale of a man alone (as John Tomlinson reminds us in the cryptic spoken prologue) and while under normal circumstances Hungarian would win over any translation, here vivid vocal acting and clarity of diction more than compensate. And there's Farnes's conducting, which even from as early as the introduction counters the pervading darkness with deftly pointed woodwind phrases and a light, expressive curve to the string lines.
Tomlinson's Bluebeard is godlike, cautioning and doleful, the voice hugely resonant. Sally Burgess sounds old enough to know better than to stray thoughtlessly from her father's home. When Judith first views the castle's interior she sounds suitably tremulous and awestruck, though when she blurts out the words 'tell me why the doors are bolted?' an air of petulance spells trouble: her command to 'open!' cues forceful thwacks on timps and bass drum. And so the drama unfolds, Burgess's Judith, shrewish and fatally curious, Tomlinson's Bluebeard, inwardly tortured but fired by Judith's dark beauty. The instruments of torture, the armaments, mountains of gold, tender flowers and spacious kingdom, all are graphically tone-painted, Farnes delivering with distinction every time – though when Burgess gasps at the kingdom newly revealed she keeps her high C fairly short. Tomlinson's most sensitive moment, as so often with him in this work, comes when he recalls his former wives, and Farnes's comes at the 'lake of tears', the perfect dovetailing of winds and strings, mournful but also extremely beautiful.
The later climactic moments are delivered with enormous power, the sum effect very moving.
For a thoroughly sympathetic, theatrically effective English-language Bluebeard's Castle, this new release is about as good as it's likely to get.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Burgess manages to make Judith the multi-dimensional character she deserves to be...John Tomlinson's Bluebeard broods magnificently, his voice and personality as overpowering as the atmosphere of his castle...let me introduce the third member of the cast: the Orchestra of Opera North conducted by Richard Farnes, who provide vivid colours and deep shadows” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 8th August 2006

“Moving and powerful, this English Bluebeard is as good as it gets. …while under normal circumstances I'd favour Hungarian above any translation, here vivid vocal acting and clarity of diction more than compensate. And there's Farnes's conducting, which even from as early as the introduction counters the pervading darkness with deftly pointed woodwind phrases and a light, expressive curve to the string lines. Tomlinson's Bluebeard is godlike, cautioning and doleful, the voice hugely resonant. Tomlinson's most sensitive moment, as so often with him in this work, comes when he recalls his former wives (track 19), and Farnes's comes at the 'lake of tears', the perfect dovetailing of winds and strings, mournful but also extremely beautiful.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - July 2006

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3133

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Bartók: Four Orchestral Pieces

Bartók: Four Orchestral Pieces


Bartók:

Four Orchestral Pieces Op. 12 (Sz 51)

Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106

The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 (suite)


Edward Gardner and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform three great orchestral works by Béla Bartók in this new Chandos release. Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta is a seminal work written for a unique ensemble consisting two string orchestras, playing from opposite sides of the stage, and a group of percussion instruments in addition to the piano, harp, and celesta. The piece took on wider recognition when it was used by Stanley Kubrick on the soundtrack of The Shining. Also on this disc is the Suite from Bartók’s dark and gritty ballet The Miraculous Mandarin. The work, featuring some of the most colourful music Bartók wrote, tells the story of three criminals who force a young woman to lure passers-by into a room where they intend to rob them. The third passer-by to enter the room is the mandarin. The men try to kill him, but only when the girl satisfies his desire do his wounds begin to bleed, and he dies. The Four Orchestral Pieces, drafted in 1912, but not orchestrated until 1921, were written at a time when Bartók felt both misunderstood and ignored and had withdrawn from musical life in Budapest. These feelings of rejection may well have intensified the anger and cynicism found in this work.

“The Melbourne orchestra sounds wonderful in these works...Gardner’s account [of the Four Orchestral Pieces] certainly affirms this as undue neglect. The Miraculous Mandarin ballet suite makes a sizzling beginning. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta again reveals how much searing intensity can lie in pure abstraction.” Sunday Times, 24th November 2013

“Solo keyboard and percussion work is fresh and vigorous [in the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste)...That suppleness carries through to the Miraculous Mandarin suite, which glitters with strange orchestral colour, and to the Four Orchestral Pieces, less showy but well worth hearing.” The Observer, 8th December 2013 *****

“Gardner and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra give first-rate performances of all this music, with a real virtuoso account of the exhilarating Miraculous Mandarin Suite, in particular...the internal balance of the orchestra itself is impeccable.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

“[Gardner] draws performances that pack a real punch while remaining attentive to significant detail lurking behind the top line...For me, it's the disc's highlight - but The Miraculous Mandarin in particular is an instructive listen.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“the conductor is an Englishman, the increasingly impressive Edward Gardner; but it’s the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra that is the real star here, along with the outstanding sound engineering team. The net result is a thrilling CD - and an enterprising one, too, in that, though two of the items are well established in the Bartók canon” MusicWeb International, 27th January 2014

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Bartók: Orchestral Works

Bartók: Orchestral Works


Bartók:

The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 (suite)

Philharmonia Orchestra

The Wooden Prince Suite

Philharmonia Orchestra

Hungarian Sketches, BB 103, Sz. 97

Philharmonia Orchestra

Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116

Royal Scottish National Orchestra


This ‘2for1’ reissue brings together the best performances by Neeme Järvi of the music by Bartók, taken from his extraordinarily prolific recording career with Chandos Records.

The Concerto for Orchestra has remained one of Bartók’s most popular orchestral works since its triumphant premiere in 1944. Its title signals that each section of instruments is treated in a soloistic and virtuoso way.

The ballet The Miraculous Mandarin is heard here in its complete form. Set in a seedy urban underworld, it tells the tale of a prostitute, the three thugs that control her, and their mysterious encounter with the eponymous Mandarin. In portraying this scenario Bartók creates an astonishingly vivid score with some of the most colourful music he ever wrote.

The Wooden Prince, an earlier ballet, could not on the surface be further from The Miraculous Mandarin. Lacking its daring modernism, it instead shows the influence of Debussy, Strauss, and Wagner. However, its outwardly sunny character obscures a strange and surreal undertone.

The Hungarian Pictures are skilful and imaginative orchestrations made in 1931 of five earlier piano pieces. Each with its own distinct character, these pieces give the impression of being an authentic folksong arrangement, although this is true only of the last of the five.

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Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (complete)

Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (complete)


This is the first concerto recording by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet for Chandos. Following the tremendous success of his complete Debussy piano music edition (‘This could well be the finest and most challenging of all Debussy piano cycles’ – Bryce Morrison, Gramophone) – which scooped awards from both Gramophone and BBC Music – and the launch of his ambitious Haydn Piano Sonatas series, the pianist now turns his attention to some of the mightiest concertos of the twentieth century. The three Bartók Piano Concertos on a single CD represents superb value for money.

Bartók wrote his First Concerto, one of his most challenging works, in 1926. The percussive piano writing ads much bite to the textures. The first movement is striking in its rhythmic vigour and dramatic character. The central Andante is essentially a dialogue between the soloist and four percussion players and features much atmospheric ‘Night Music’. In the finale, following without a break, the brilliant motoric rhythms of the first movement return, as does the dramatic use of percussion in a thrilling mêlée of sound.

The Second Concerto was first performed in 1933. The music is more melodically appealing and in the first movement, which is notably contrapuntal, the strings are silent throughout. The hushed slow movement on strings is interrupted half way through by a brilliant and startling scherzo, with a striking sequence of tremolos and note-clusters, before the haunting quiet mood of the opening returns. The finale, again with brilliant use of percussion (as well as brass), ends the work in virtuoso fashion.

The Third Concerto was written at the end of the composer’s life, in 1945, and is much more restrained than the previous piano concertos. The work is lighter, airy, and almost neo-classical compared to much of his earlier music. Unlike much of Bartók’s output, the piece was not composed on commission, but was rather created as a surprise birthday gift for Bartók’s second wife, Ditta Pásztory, who was, like Bartók, a skilled concert pianist. The two lively outer movements, full of the composer’s distinctive rhythmic drive, are separated by a slow movement of great beauty and serenity, with, again, a striking, contrasting middle section. The final seventeen bars were orchestrated by the composer’s pupil, Tibor Serly, after the composer’s death, based on Bartók’s notes.

“Both Bavouzet and the BBC Philharmonic with Gianandrea Noseda are outstanding in the First Concerto, capturing its epic scale and mixture of formality and barbarism...[These performances] generally have all the sweep, intensity and precision that these works demand.” The Guardian, 26th August 2010 ****

“In league with the finely honed BBC Philharmonic, these are performances vibrant in colour, vital in rhythm and detail and viscerally exciting in impact.” The Telegraph, 2nd September 2010 *****

“Bavouzet relishes the high-octane energy of the outer movements of the first two concertos but through his imaginatively varied use of colour manages to avoid the trap of making Bartók's percussive writing seem too relentless.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 *****

“Bavouzet's own energy and lightness make the most of the jubilant, rhythmic writing.. It's a beautifully nuanced performance, brimming over with variety of touch and dynamic...The orchestra match him in their deft lightness, brightness and virtuosity.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 16/09/2010

“Bavouzet's interpretations are masculine, intelligent and direct. In most of the nine movements, he opts for unusually brisk tempos, though quick as they are, the music never sounds rushed or precipitous. Clarity invariably prevails and Noseda and the orchestra are equal partners at every turn...the overall effect is viscerally exhilarating.” International Record Review, October 2010

“If you're after a disc of Bartok's piano concertos that maximises on the music's drive, elegance and sparring potential, then you could hardly to better than his ear-catching new production...Bavouzet doesn't play down the music's earth-derived grandeur...or its drama.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

“From the paranoid wranglings of the First Concerto to the helter-skelter glamour of the Second and the burlesque of the Third, the playing is first rate. Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet delivers coruscating cadenza and locates an almost Beethovenian limpidity for the Adagio Religioso.” The Independent on Sunday, 17th October 2010

GGramophone Awards 2011

Finalist - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2010

Building a Library

First Choice - November 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - October 2010

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011

Orchestral Finalist

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Bartók: Violin Concertos & Viola Concerto

Bartók: Violin Concertos & Viola Concerto


Bartók:

Violin Concerto No. 1, BB48a, Sz 36

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112

Viola Concerto, BB 128, Sz. 120


Hailed as ‘the Jascha Heifetz of our day’ (The Globe and Mail, Canada), the violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the most dynamic and exciting performers in classical music, appearing regularly with the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Accompanied here by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda, Ehnes is the soloist in Bartók’s two violin concertos in which he plays the ‘Marsick’ Stradivarius of 1715, as well as in the viola concerto, performing on the ‘Rolla’ Giuseppe Guadagnini viola of 1793, on loan from the Fulton Collection.

James Ehnes said of this disc: ‘These three concertos are among the most striking examples of Bartók’s early, middle, and late periods, each showing a very different side of one of the great musical voices of all time; they are among my very favourite pieces to perform’.

Bartók wrote his first concerto for violin in 1908 for the young violinist Stefi Geyer, to whom he was romantically attached at the time, which explains the warm feelings expressed in the first movement; though the relationship ended shortly after the work’s completion, Bartók and Geyer remained on friendly terms. The composer shelved the concerto, which remained in Geyer’s possession, unperformed until two years after her death, nearly fifty years after it was written.

Violin Concerto No. 2 was commissioned by the Hungarian violinist Zoltán Székely almost thirty years after the first concerto was completed. Bartók at the time would have preferred to write an extended set of variations, but Székely maintained that, seeing as he was paying for the work, he should get what he asked for. Bartók reluctantly agreed – but later pointed out that he had had his way after all, seeing as the central movement is in variation form, and the finale works with variations of themes from the first movement.

The Viola Concerto is among the last pieces on which Bartók worked. Existing only in the form of extended sketches at the time of his death in September 1945, the work was completed by the violist and composer Tibor Serly, a fellow Hungarian and close friend of Bartók’s. Compared to earlier works by Bartók, the concerto is harmonically restrained with a melancholy quality that was always evident in his music, but which intensified in his late years.

“a performance that, throughout, is ear-catchingly alert to the music’s range of tonal shading, its abrupt switches of pace and mood, its powerful bravura and its pungent lyricism...this whole disc...gives a remarkable insight into Bartók’s compositional individuality in performances of captivating artistry.” The Telegraph, 2nd September 2011 *****

““Romantic” is not the first word that comes to mind with Bartók, but there is no mistaking the romantic influences that run through these concertos...Ehnes’s sweet tone and sensitive musicianship make this an unexpectedly rewarding disc, with warm-blooded accompaniments” Financial Times, 17th September 2011 ****

“His sinewy, lean tone is perfect for the mature Bartok’s stark, rebarbative harmonic language, yet he perceives the lyrical, folkloric vein that runs through the composer’s greatest masterpieces. Ehnes makes the attractive but uncharacteristic early concerto worth hearing, but he really warms to the late lyrical manner Bartok adopted for the Viola Concerto” Sunday Times, 18th September 2011

“Chandos could not have chosen a more ideal team for this project...Here they demonstrate an instinctive understanding for the different musical characteristics of each work...While encapsulating these distinctive emotional worlds, they nonetheless maintain a tight grip over the music's structural direction...Chandos have done soloist, conductor and orchestra proud with a warmly engineered recording that allows us to hear a wealth of inner details.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 *****

“I can't think of a finer CD version of the First Concerto than this...[Ehnes's] rich, yielding tone makes an even stronger impression [in the Viola Concerto], reminiscent of William Primrose in his prime...The kernel of the piece is its slow movement and I challenge any reader to name a version that is either more moving or more beautifully played...its pared-to-the-bone textures mean that Ehnes's soul-warming contribution comes across as especially powerful.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2011

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Chandos - CHAN10690

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Bartók: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2

Bartók: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2


Bartók:

Violin Sonata No. 1, BB 84, Sz. 75

Violin Sonata No. 2, BB 85, Sz. 76

Rhapsody for Violin & Piano No. 1, BB 94a, Sz. 86

Rhapsody for Violin & Piano No. 2, BB 96a, Sz. 89

Andante in A major, DD 70, BB 26


James Ehnes (violin) & Andrew Armstrong (piano)

This is the second volume in a series devoted to the works for strings by Béla Bartók, with James Ehnes the featured soloist. Earlier this year, Ehnes recorded the Violin and Viola Concertos (CHAN10690), which was made Disc of the Month in Gramophone magazine. On this new recording, he turns to the Violin Sonatas and Rhapsodies, complemented by the earliest surviving work by Bartók for violin and piano, an Andante. He is accompanied by the pianist Andrew Armstrong.

Dedicated to the Hungarian violinist Adila d’Arányi, the sonatas for violin and piano were composed in 1921 – 22, around the same time as the highly successful ballet score The Miraculous Mandarin. Of the two works, the Sonata in C sharp minor is the more traditional in terms of its structure, and characterised by a mood that is sometimes exhilarated, sometimes turbulent – but always virtuosic. The finale builds from a series of increasingly wild dances, folk-like in style but entirely expressionistic.

In the Sonata in C major, Bartók removes himself from classical form and traditional tonal practice, calling on the violinist to distance himself from the romantic manner of playing. At several points, for example, the violin is played without vibrato, producing an ethereally cool and distant sound. The improvisatory character is strong throughout, as the work repeatedly alternates between the quiet and thoughtful, and the stormy and strident. The ending, in contrast to the earlier sonata, is understated, emotional, and expressive.

Bartók’s two rhapsodies for piano and violin, dedicated respectively to Joseph Szigeti and Zoltán Székely, are steeped in the tradition of Hungarian folk music. Exuberant and infectious, the works are heavily inspired by the csárdás, the national dance of Hungary, and display the traditional pairing of lassú (slow) and friss (lively) movements.

“The performances are assertive but never excessively forceful, tonally sweet (useful in this often acerbic music) and, from Andrew Armstrong's standpoint, almost impressionist in their projection of nuance and tonal shading...an exceedingly generous programme (80'30''), expertly engineered, well planned, beautifully executed.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

“They are performances of outstanding musical insight and technical brilliance...James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong perfectly encapsulate the anxieties projecting in both works...But they also find room for repose and reflection...As with Ehnes's recording of the Concertos, the present collection sweeps the board in terms of performance and generosity alike.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 *****

“Ehnes has the measure of the fractured sonata design of the Allegro appassionato [in No. 1]...[He] gives a tellingly understated account of the preludial Molto moderato [in No. 2], dovetailing into a main Allegretto which open out its thematic and expressive potential so the work as a whole seems to unfold seamlessly towards a rapt and unifying postlude.” International Record Review, February 2012

“This is a magnificent disc, wonderful playing captured in fantastic sound, and a fine way to begin an exploration of Bartók’s work in this genre. Roll on Volume Two.” MusicWeb International, June 2012

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Chandos - CHAN10705

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Bartók: Works for Violin and Piano Volume 2

Bartók: Works for Violin and Piano Volume 2


Bartók:

Sonata for Solo Violin, BB 124, Sz. 117

Violin Sonata in E minor, BB28

Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56 (arr. Székely for violin & piano)

Hungarian Folk Songs (1947), Sz 42

arr. Országh and Bartók

10 Hungarian Folk Tunes for violin and piano

arr. Szigeti and Bartók

Sonatina, BB 69, Sz. 55

arr. Gertler


James Ehnes (violin) & Andrew Armstrong (piano)

James Ehnes has previously explored Béla Bartók’s concertos for violin and for viola, to great acclaim. This disc is the second in his equally successful survey of Bartók’s chamber music for the violin. His accompanist, once more, is Andrew Armstrong, a pianist praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique.

The folk-inspired Sonata for Solo Violin was the last work that Bartók wrote for the instrument, not to mention the most challenging. In a departure from his usual practice, this work was written not for a fellow Hungarian, but rather for an artist born in New York where Bartók was now living: Yehudi Menuhin. Suitably impressed by a recital performance by Menuhin of his first Violin Sonata as well as Bach’s Sonata in C, he had no hesitation in accepting the violinist’s commission for a sonata that, like Bach’s, would be unaccompanied.

Almost half a century earlier, Bartók had written his Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor. It was included in a concert given by graduating students of the Liszt Academy in June 1903, when a critic, most likely not realising just how right he would prove, hailed Bartók as ‘a phenomenal young genius, whose name today is known only to a few, but who is destined to play a great and brilliant role in the history of Hungarian music’.

Additionally on this disc we have three groups of Bartók’s Romanian and Hungarian folk dances, folksongs, and folk tunes, arranged for violin variously by Zoltán Székely, Tivadar Országh, and Joseph Szigeti, often with direct involvement by the composer himself who helped fine-tune the new arrangements. James Ehnes also highlights the Romanian influences in Bartók’s Sonatina for piano, transcribed for violin by André Gertler, a student of Bartók’s.

“Ehnes gives a stunning account of the Solo Sonata. The impression is that he's simply following all Bartok's meticulous direction...and adding nothing extra. If this seems boring, the effect is anything but: clarity of articulation, beauty of sound, the ease with which he surmounts the technical challenges, and deep understanding of the work's structure and character; all these combine to make a performance that's exciting and enthralling.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013

“Big toned yet poetic, Ehnes is a persuasive interpreter.” The Observer, 20th January 2013

“Needless to say, the score [of the Solo Sonata] holds no terrors for Ehnes who delivers a magisterial performance...Ehnes and his excellent pianist, Andrew Armstrong, make the best possible case for reappraising the early Violin Sonata of 1903, dismissed by the composer as a mere apprentice work.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - March 2013

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Chandos - CHAN10752

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Bartók: Works for Violin and Piano Volume 3

Bartók: Works for Violin and Piano Volume 3


Bartók:

Sonatina, BB 69, Sz. 55

arr. Gertler

Andrew Armstrong (piano)

Contrasts for violin, clarinet & piano, BB 116, Sz. 111

Andrew Armstrong (piano) & Michael Collins (clarinet)

44 Duos for Two Violins, BB 104, Sz. 98

Amy Schwartz Moretti (violin)


James Ehnes (violin)

James Ehnes presents his third disc of chamber works by Bartók. The previous volumes have, along with his outstanding concerto disc, established his formidable reputation as a Bartók interpreter. Here Ehnes is joined by the pianist Andrew Armstrong, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Michael Collins, one of the world’s leading clarinettists.

The Sonatina, originally composed in 1915 for piano, was based on melodies which Bartók had collected during expeditions in Transylvania. The transcription for violin and piano heard here was produced ten years later by a young student of Bartók’s, Endre Gertler.

Bartók composed Contrasts in 1938 for the jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman and violinist Joseph Szigeti, who originally had requested a work in two movements, each with a cadenza for one of the featured instruments. Fulfilling this request, Bartók added a central slow movement, entitled ‘Pihenő’ (Relaxation). The opening movement, ‘Verbunkos’, alludes to a march-like Hungarian military recruiting dance. The finale, entitled ‘Sebes’ (Quick), is a lively romp at the heart of which lies an unexpected episode of haunting calmness.

Besides writing for such outstanding musicians as Szigeti and Goodman, Bartók composed a lot of music for students, including the Forty-four Duos for two violins recorded here. These short pieces take material from a remarkably wide array of folk traditions and interlink the styles and culture of diverse peoples.

“Ehnes and Moretti possess precisely the degree of finesse required to bring both piquancy and a sense of stylish panache to the music here.” The Telegraph, 19th June 2014 ****

“James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti are fully the equal of even their most illustrious rivals, their playing varied and characterful enough to make listening to any of the four books of Duos at a single sitting a real pleasure. A lovely programme.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2014

“James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti make the best possible case for experiencing the entire cycle in one whole sweep. They maximise the amount of colour that can be squeezed out of the simplest two-part writing and sustain vibrant musical dialogue throughout. More importantly, both artists manage to encapsulate an amazing variety of moods.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2014 *****

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Chandos - CHAN10820

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