Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, etc. (SACD)

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Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner

James Ehnes (violin)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra,
Edward Gardner

Four years after a highly successful Bartók recording with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner here returns to the composer on SACD, with James Ehnes as solo violinist, and his Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

The central piece in this recording is the Concerto for Orchestra, the largest work that Bartók completed during the last five years of his life and described by the composer, in the programme notes for its 1944 premiere, as ‘a gradual transition from the sternness of the first movement and the lugubrious death-song of the third, to the life-assertion of the last one’.

It is joined by the Dance Suite, the immediate predecessor, among Bartók’s few works for full orchestra without a soloist, of the Concerto for Orchestra, though by more than two decades; and by the violin Rhapsodies, the colourful folk influences of which are revealed by James Ehnes, a specialist in the repertoire, who already has recorded the complete sonatas as well as the concertos for violin and for viola to critical acclaim.

Recorded: 13-14 June 2016
Recording Venue: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway

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   Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116 38:00

  1. I. Introduzione. Andante non troppo - Allegro vivace 10:31
  2. II. Giuoco delle coppie. Allegretto scherzando 6:19
  3. III. Elegia. Andante non troppo 7:04
  4. IV. Intermezzo interrotto. Allegretto 4:16
  5. V. Finale. Presto 9:50

    Rhapsody for Violin & Orchestra No. 1, BB 94b, Sz. 87 15:32
  6. I. Lassú. Moderato 4:31
  7. II. Friss. Allegro moderato (First Version) 5:51
  8. II. Friss. Allegro moderato (Second Version) 5:10

    Rhapsody for Violin & Orchestra No. 2, BB 96b, Sz. 90 (Revised 1944 Version) 10:29
  9. I. Lassú. Moderato 4:25
  10. II. Friss. Allegro moderato 6:04

    Dance Suite, BB 86, Sz. 77 16:17
  11. I. Moderato 3:29
  12. II. Allegro molto 2:08
  13. III. Allegro vivace 2:59
  14. IV. Molto tranquillo 2:49
  15. V. Commodo 0:59
  16. VI. Finale. Allegro 3:53

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"A fierce, lucid account of Bartók’s last great masterpiece, Concerto for Orchestra...The Bergen orchestra sounds wonderfully alive to Bartók’s rhythmic exactitudes. 5 stars"
The Observer (October 29, 2017)

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