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Martinu: Violin Concerto No 2, Symphony No 1 / Gatto, Weller

Martinu / Gatto / National Orch Of Belgium
Release Date: 04/10/2012 
Label:  Fuga Libera   Catalog #: 589  
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Lorenzo Gatto
Conductor:  Walter Weller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgian National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a very enjoyable disc from a conductor who has long been an effective proponent of Martinu’s music (notably the Fourth Symphony). Walter Weller’s vision of the First Symphony is notably vibrant and exciting. Indeed, the scherzo threatens to come unhinged in a couple of places, and the fact that it never does (witness the sound sample below) is a tribute both to the conducting and to the impressive rhythmic precision of the National Orchestra of Belgium. Elsewhere, in the outer movements, Weller reveals an excellent sense of the music’s flow and a keen ear that keeps Martinu’s busy textures transparent as well as atmospheric. The third-movement Largo is especially powerful.

Martinu composed his Second Violin Concerto
Read more for Mischa Elman, shortly after the successful premiere of the First Symphony in Boston. It’s a major work by any standard, with a brooding opening movement, a pastoral central andante, and a folk-inspired finale. In short, this is music in the grand tradition of Romantic violin concertos, and it makes a logical and nicely contrasting pairing with the First Symphony. Curiously, given the music’s attractiveness, it has not been recorded all that often. Isabelle Faust turned in a good performance recently for Harmonia Mundi, but this one, with Lorenzo Gatto an impressively impassioned soloist, has more energy and sheer gusto, especially in the turbulent opening movement. Excellent sonics complete this very desirable package.

-- ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin no 2, H 293 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Lorenzo Gatto (Violin)
Conductor:  Walter Weller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgian National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; Czech Republic 
2. Symphony no 1 by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Walter Weller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgian National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto No. 2, H. 293: I. Andante
Violin Concerto No. 2, H. 293: II. Andante moderato
Violin Concerto No. 2, H. 293: III. Poco allegro
Symphony No. 1, H. 289: I. Moderato
Symphony No. 1, H. 289: II. Scherzo: Allegro - Trio: Poco moderato
Symphony No. 1, H. 289: III. Largo
Symphony No. 1, H. 289: IV. Allegro non troppo

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Acrobatic August 15, 2012 By John W. (Woori Yallock Vic., Australia) See All My Reviews "Martinu's Violin Concerto No.2. is superbly played by Lorezo Gatto, where extremes of technique are required.The Concerto is full of twists and turns, alway being great fun and exciting.
The First Symphony is by contrast, different- a more serious and meaningful composition.The Largo was written as a result of the Nazis destruction of Czech villages in 1942, and reflects the grief and sadness of the time.
The Orchestra is superbly balanced, and the sound excellent."
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