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Classical - Released January 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Bartók’s last two orchestral masterpieces, written in exile in the United States, are presented here; two “concertos”, one for solo piano, the other for full orchestra, hence its distinctive name of Concerto for Orchestra. Granted Bartók isn’t the first to have used such a title: it can be found as soon as 1925 with Hindemith, in 1931 with Malipiero, in 37 with Casella, and two years later with Kodály. Composed in one go during an unexpected remission from leukaemia, from August to October 1943, Concerto for Orchestra is the Hungarian’s only orchestral work of such scale. Fascinating in its musical hedonism and virtuosity required from each musician, this work serves as a summary for Bartók’s career. It explores the composer’s favourite writing styles as well as the folklores that have inspired him, from Central Europe to Arabic music. It also reveals the richness of Bartókian harmonics, ranging from the diatonic and modal clarity of popular music to a bitter yet always lyric chromaticism. As for Piano Concerto No. 3, it was almost completed before the composer’s death: only the orchestration of the last seventeen measures was missing. It is the only piano piece Bartók didn’t compose on his own initiative, but for his wife Ditta Pásztory – who never had the heart to play it… With Javier Perianes on the piano, conductor Pablo Heras-Casado gives life to this concerto for orchestra with ardour and clarity, thus restoring all of its modernity. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Special Soundchecks - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Solo Piano - Released May 19, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
This collection of Béla Bartók's piano music offers a generous program of some of the most influential keyboard works of the 20th century, expertly played by Alain Planès. Making a clean break from the lush and sentimental parlor music of the fin de siècle, Bartók introduced a drier, muscular style, incorporating lively folk rhythms from Eastern Europe, pungent dissonances, percussive sonorities, and novel techniques that made the piano sound exciting and vital in modern music. Planès plays with extraordinary vitality, so his performances here are exciting and invigorating, while at the same time observant of all of the subtleties and soft qualities that made Bartók's music poetic and deeply expressive. This CD opens with one of Bartók's most revolutionary works, Dance Suite, which put him on the map as a modernist and made him the leading Hungarian composer of his time. This is followed by the Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs and Four Old Songs, a block of pieces that shows the great variety of styles and melodic inflections in folk music that became his chief resources. Perhaps the most advanced work is the acerbic Piano Sonata, both in terms of its daring dissonances and formal mastery, typical of his most important music of the 1920s. The collection is rounded out by the Six Romanian Folk Dances, which are similar to the Hungarian pieces heard earlier, and the Fourteen Bagatelles, which encapsulate in miniature many of his innovations. Harmonia Mundi's recording is top notch, with great clarity and presence without excessively close microphone placement.
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Violin Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonic Music - Released February 21, 2014 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 7, 2016 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released August 28, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Award
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Classical - Released June 22, 2010 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca

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Concertos - Released August 26, 2013 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Chandos

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Among the rare works by Bartók for a full orchestra, the Dance Suite "immediately" precedes the Concerto for Orchestra, albeit by more than two decades... As with the Concerto, this was commissioned by Budapest City Hall for the 50th anniversary in 1923 of the unification of Buda, on the north bank of the Danube, with Pest, on the south. As so often with Bartók, this is "imaginary folk music": the themes are assembled on a formal melodic and rhythmic base, made up from a stock of popular airs from Hungarian villages, but also from Romanian, Slovak and North African Arab sources. Unlike the two major orchestral works recorded here - the Concerto for Orchestra and the Dance Suite - the two rhapsodies for violin and orchestra from 1928 show us a Bartók who is returning to the "export" style of Eastern Europe, which he had inherited – like Brahms and Liszt before him – from Viennese café musicians: that is, from musicians much closer to the Romany accents than to the reality of Magyar folk music. The First Rhapsody is tinted with local colour thanks to the addition of a cimbalom in the orchestra, his one and only use of this instrument. As for the score for the Concerto for Orchestra - the most major work that he would produce in the last five years of his life in the USA, where he was a sick and demoralised refugee - it was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky. Bartók began the work in August 1943 and completed it in eight weeks, a remarkably short period which proves that the was genuinely reinvigorated by the work: "Perhaps it's thanks to this improvement that I was able to write the work Koussevitzky commissioned – or vice versa," he wrote. The work was performed in December 1944 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Bartók then altered the final portion, which became a little longer. On solo violin for the Rhapsodies we have James Ehnes, while Norway's Bergen Orchestra is conducted with admirable clarity by Edward Gardner. © MT / Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released September 2, 2016 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 28, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Warner Classics

Booklet
Like his former compatriot Christian Ferras, whom he greatly admires, Renaud Capuçon has been gradually building up a lovely discography, working with the greatest orchestral conductors around today. Completely dedicated to Bartók, this new album offers two concertos by the Hungarian composer with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth. Not many works have endured as tumultuous a history as the First Concerto. Composed in 1907-1908 for the violinist and friend of Bartók's, Stefi Geyer, it remained in manuscript form long after the composer's death and was finally performed 50 years after it was written, in Basel, by Paul Sacher, patron, conductor, and friend of both Bartók and the Swiss violinist Hansheinz Schneeberger. As for the Second Concerto written in 1938, by an ironic twist of history, it was performed twenty years before the First. The two works are very stylistically different: the First Concerto is lyrical and polytonal in its composition, whereas the Second flirts with a dodecaphonism that Bartók never adopted fully. Oddly avoided by generations of violinists, today these two concertos seem to be drawing the admiration of a new generation of virtuosos free of the prejudices of their predecessors, and who have mastered the language of the 20th century. Renaud Capuçon gives a very able version here, foregrounding Bartók's unique way of expressing himself, partway between classical and popular music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics