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Bartok: Sonata For Violin, Etc / Osostowicz, Tomes, Collins

Release Date: 01/13/2004 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55149   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Performer:  Krysia OsostowiczSusan TomesMichael Collins
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This issue duplicates Maryvonne le Dizes-Richard's programme on Adda/Gamut but in every way surpasses it in quality, and for good measure throws in a superior account of Contrasts.

In the Sonata for solo violin Krysia Osostowicz may not have the sheer power of a Mullova (Philips) or the unique vocal inflexions of a Menuhin (his historic EMI recording from 1947), but her intelligent, unforced playing creates an image of the work as valid as theirs. She takes time without ever giving the impression of slackness and she shapes the musical argument even when technical difficulties are piled high. Like Dizes-Richard, but unlike Menuhin and Mullova, she offers the original quarter-tone version of the finale (a less drastic
Read more difference than you would think, as I explained last October).

As a one-time Sandor Vegh pupil (or perhaps just as an imaginative musician) Osostowicz also knows how to deliver ethnic touches in the Rhapsodies. Both of these emerge idiomatic and full-blooded, with all manner of glides between the notes and a delightful sense of the ideas being caught on the breeze. Again, it may be that the fast, wide vibrato of a Joseph Szigeti can convey even more inborn national spirit (Hungaroton must surely have the Bartok/Szigeti recordings high on the priority list for CD reissue), but a player from a different tradition making an imaginative leap can offer an equally stirring experience.

Susan Tomes was co-founder with Osostowicz of the chamber ensemble Domus, and the two enjoy a close musical understanding. The six Romanian folk-dances are as full of relish as the Rhapsodies and the recording quality in all these pieces is greatly superior to Adda's for Dizes-Richard. Casting round for something to criticize I suppose I could say that the Second Romanian folk-dance strikes me as less special than the rest, and that the mordents in No. 3 sound better as written (and as played by Bartok) rather than before the beat (as played, it has to be said, by Szigeti as well as Osostowicz).

It's much the same story with Contrasts. Some may find Michael Collins's contribution almost too cultured, but the historic Goodman / Szigeti / Bartok on CBS is by no means without fault, and the Hyperion recording is better balanced than that of Delos/Pinnacle for the excellent American musicians in Chamber Music Northwest. All in all an outstandingly successful and enjoyable issue.

-- Gramophone [4/1991]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin solo, Sz 117 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Krysia Osostowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/1990 
Length: 27 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Rhapsody for Violin and Piano no 1, Sz 86 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Krysia Osostowicz (Violin), Susan Tomes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1990 
Length: 9 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Rhapsody for Violin and Piano no 2, Sz 89 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Krysia Osostowicz (Violin), Susan Tomes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1990 
Length: 10 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Sz 111 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Michael Collins (Clarinet), Susan Tomes (Piano), Krysia Osostowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1990 
Length: 17 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Susan Tomes (Piano), Krysia Osostowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1990 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Szekely 

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