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Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Viola Concerto / Ehnes, Noseda, Bbc Philharmonic

Bartok / Ehnes / Bbc Philharmonic Orch / Noseda
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10690   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Performer:  James Ehnes
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

What pushes this release over the top is the brilliant fiddling of James Ehnes, combined with the incredibly intelligent idea of putting all of Bartók's string concertos together on a single disc. Ehnes, for his part, is just as comfortable on the viola as he is on the violin. He digs into the rustic Hungarian melodies in the finale of the Viola Concerto or the beginning of the Violin Concerto No. 2 with a richly resonant gusto that never turns crude, while at the same time his impeccable intonation gives the slithery chromatics of the First concerto real shape and direction. He's a phenomenal artist, make no mistake. Gianandrea Noseda's accompaniments are very good--bracing and very well
Read more paced. As so often from these forces, however, the orchestra is a touch bland--never less than proficient, most of the time a good bit more than that, but also not as arresting and colorful as it could be. Still, as I said, the quality of Ehnes' playing and the value of the program earn this disc a top recommendation. Anything less would be churlish.

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

Concerto for Violin no 2, Sz 112 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; Budapest, Hungary 
Concerto for Violin no 1, Sz 36 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; Budapest, Hungary 
Concerto for Viola, Sz 120 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  James Ehnes (Viola)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 OK, enough September 11, 2015 By Robert C. (Tucson, AZ) See All My Reviews "I wasn't quite as impressed as the commercial critics. However, it is very nice to have the three concertos on one disk and it was a real pleasure to hear all three at one sitting" Report Abuse
 Life enhancing November 21, 2011 By Jeffrey S. (Delavan, IL) See All My Reviews "Even if you have not warmed up to the music of Bela Bartók I urge you to buy this cd of the 2 Violin Concerti and the posthumous Viola Concerto. One reviewer referred to James Ehnes 'superlative fiddling' which I find a bit glib. What Ehnes does here with the first movement (Andante Sostenuto) of the 1st Violin Concerto is nothing short of heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It isn't often one encounters such an unexpected emotional wallop from such an unexpected source, Bartók. I have always associated these pieces with the spiky school of composition. I have heard this particular concerto before but do not recall being particularly impressed by the intrinsic eloquence it possesses. James Ehnes and Gianandrea Noseda turn this Andante Sostenuto into a long, serene meditation on Love and Joy. It is painfully beautiful, especially at the end.

The rest of this disc is on a very high level of execution by one and all. The engineering is crystal clear and wonderfully balanced. The violin is to the fore but not TOO to the fore. Ehnes often blends in to and then emerges from the full violin section in climaxes and then sounds as if he's standing alone on an empty stage, as in the opening bars.

He is as adept on the Viola as he is on the Violin.

I'd buy this set even if it only contained the Andante Sostenuto from the 1st Concerto. It is THAT great. Bravo!"
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