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This first volume of the Naxos Igor Markevitch Complete Orchestral Works Edition, to be followed by the seven volumes previously released on Marco Polo, brings together two relatively early compositions of astonishing technical and æsthetic assurance.
The Partita is in effect already his second Piano Concerto, written when the composer was twenty. The granitic oratorio Paradise Lost, whose première the composer himself conducted at the BBC in London barely three years later, is among the most important of the composer’s works, bearing comparison with Stravinsky’s contemporaneous OEdipus Rex and Perséphone, yet of striking individuality of vision.
Igor Markevitch: Partita
Igor Markevitch: Le paradis perdu
“The recording (from live performances) cannot wholly cope with the extreme complexity of some of Markevitch's textures, especially at the climaxes, and the soloists are rather distantly balanced, but it's a very valuable document. Christopher Lyndon-Gee conducts with a real feeling for the idiom, and supplies very full booklet notes. The Partita for piano and orchestra of 1931 has a fierce neo-classical austerity and sure-footed assurance; Martijn van den Hoek is an agile, intelligent soloist...”