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Martinu: The Complete Music For Violin And Orchestra Vol 3 / Hogwood, Matousek, Czech Po

Release Date: 05/13/2008 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67673   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Bohuslav Matousek
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A major concertante piece is restored to public view, not once but twice!

Hyperion’s Martinu series continues apace and with great distinction. Christopher Hogwood and his Czech Philharmonic forces here delve into some of the less well known corners of Martinu’s output, in particular the long-neglected Suite concertante. A hugely enjoyable disc, with beautifully nuanced playing from Bohuslav Matousek.

-- Gramophone [7/2008]

The Suite Concertante has one of the most curious histories of any of Martinu's works. It was originally composed in 1939 in five movements, the orchestration for one of which is lost. Hence it is performed
Read more here in a four-movement version that works perfectly well. This was the period of Martinu's escape from France to the United States, and in the confusion the full score was evidently mislaid, with the result that Martinu rewrote the piece around 1943 from scratch (in four movements) using some of the same melodic material, at least initially--and for the same violinist(!), Samuel Dushkin. Somehow it seems only fitting that these same performers recorded the revised version for Supraphon, coupled to the First Violin Concerto, a marvelous disc that some collectors may feel makes this new release slightly redundant.

The difference between the two versions corresponds exactly to the change in Martinu's style following his emigration to the U.S.: in 1939 he's still in his spikey "concerto grosso" mode, while the later version is more heavily scored, more songful, and closer in spirit to the contemporaneous series of symphonies. They are certainly dissimilar enough to more than justify regarding them as separate and independent works, and both are as well played (and recorded) as we have come to expect from these performers. The same holds true for the Rhapsody-Concerto, one of the most popular 20th century works for viola and orchestra. This performance projects the music's dreamy lyricism quite well while providing sufficient rhythmic backbone to keep the piece's two somewhat similar movements from sounding too similar. If you're collecting this series, then don't hesitate for a minute.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Suite Concertante for Violin and Orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Bohuslav Matousek (Violin)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1945 
Length: 45 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, H 337 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Bohuslav Matousek (Viola)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952 
Length: 22 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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