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Bartók: Violin Concerto No 2, Etc / Menuhin, Doráti

Release Date: 05/16/1995 
Label:  Mercury Living Presence   Catalog #: 434350   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sir Yehudi Menuhin's second recording of Bartok's Second Violin Concerto under Antal Dorati (he made three with him in all, plus one under Furtwangler, now on EMI References, 10/89) was taped at Carnegie Hall during the early hours of a cold February morning, immediately after the same forces had played the work as part of an all-Bartok concert. At the time, Menuhin's performance was hailed as having ''a ruggedness and rhapsodic exuberance which gave it earthiness'' (Jay S. Harrison, New York Herald Tribune), although the actual recording more suggests poise, restraint and an appealing inwardness – especially in the closing moments of the Andante tranquillo (say, from 7'50'' into track 2) and the delicate, waltz-like passage with percussion Read more 1'59'' into the third movement (beautifully conducted by Dorati). Collectors who already own the first Menuhin-Dorati collaboration (recorded by RCA back in 1946) are advised to rest content (both this version and its EMI successors have a somewhat rougher countenance), although the Mercury recording is worth having just for the sake of the Minneapolis players' often incisive phrasing.

The Second Suite is a comparative rarity – although here I'll confess that when I played this recording at a 'blindfold' listening session, my colleagues were completely stumped both by the music and its interpreters. And although it is true that neither the work nor its performance is likely to set the world alight, many will respond, I'm sure, to the music's warmth, ebullience and romantic resonances (Richard Strauss was a certain influence, especially in the Allegro scherzando and final Commodo). Dorati's performance is full of life, though occasionally let down by some rather weedy string tutti. As to the recordings, suffice to say that the 'Mercury method' makes Carnegie Hall sound like the Northrop Auditorium (the company's regular location for this orchestra) and that both sessions yield the expected close balancing, clear definition and beefy timpani sound. There is some tape rumble (and hiss), but in other respects the tapes come over reasonably well. Mercury's annotation is extremely informative.

-- Gramophone [11/1995]
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin no 2, Sz 112 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 02/17/1957 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 35 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Suite for Orchestra no 2, Op. 4/Sz 34 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1907; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 11/26/1955 
Venue:  Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minn. 
Length: 31 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: 1943 

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