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Bartok: Divertimento & Romanian Folk Dances - Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas


Release Date: 03/04/2016 
Label:  Cugate Classics   Catalog #: 12   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Béla BartókAstor Piazzolla
Conductor:  Sayako Kusaka
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Concert House Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bartok’s Divertimento for String Orchestra was written in two weeks in Switzerland in the summer of 1939 – just before the outbreak of World War II – as a commissioned work for the Basel Chamber Orchestra and its legendary conductor Paul Sacher, who conducted the premiere on November 6th, 1940. The title, which promises pleasant light music, probably misleads the listener because the symphony-like three movement work is marked – especially in the slow movement, the center of the work – by a deep earnestness, as if the composer was aware of the global disaster to come and wanted to avert it through his music. In the virtuoso string writing, various solos are repeatedly interwoven which at time give this string symphony the Read more character of a concerto grosso.

The piano version of the Romanian Folk Dances originated in 1915. Two years later, Bartok created an orchestral version of these dances which became more popular then the original piano version. The cycle consists of six original Romanian folk tunes which last about six minutes, every one of them used to their utmost in terms of contrast and tension.

Las Cuatro Estaciones Portofeñas were composed for Piazzolla’s own quintet and later on arranged by the great cellist in tango history José Bragato. In his arrangement he conveys the characteristic elements of Tango Nuevo such as harmonic sequencing, complex counterpoint polyphony plus unexpected time and tempo changes in the style of Vivaldi’s famous Le quattro stagioni in the form of a virtuoso Baroque concerto. But the title also refers to the city of Buenos Aires whose inhabitants call themselves Porteños. Thus, the four pieces are to be understood as musical snapshots capturing the Argentine capital at different times of the year.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Divertimento for String Orchestra, Sz 113 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sayako Kusaka
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Concert House Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 09/19/2013 
Length: 25 Minutes 4 Secs. 
2.
Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sayako Kusaka
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Concert House Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 09/19/2013 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3.
Las estaciones porteńas (4) by Astor Piazzolla
Conductor:  Sayako Kusaka
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Concert House Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967-1970; Argentina 
Date of Recording: 02/20/2014 
Length: 26 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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