Bartók: Concerto For Orchestra, Violin Rhapsodies
Catalog: CHSA 5189
Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester; Ehnes, James; Gardner, Edward; Kjos Sørensen, Hans-Kristian
Four years after a highly successful Bartok 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 Bartok completed during the last five years of his life and described by the composer, in the program 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 Bartok’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 colorful 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.