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Bartók, Janacek: Violin Sonatas; Messiaen / Kremer, Argerich

Release Date: 09/30/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 427351   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla BartókLeos JanácekOlivier Messiaen
Performer:  Gidon KremerMartha Argerich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dazzling, consistently colorful and high-powered.

Like so many of his contemporaries Bartok underwent a period of artistic self-examination immediately after the First World War. The Violin Sonata No. 1 is the first result of that reappraisal and it has all the hallmarks of a style in transition—in other words, it is a jolly tough nut to crack, and it remains so even in a performance as consistently colorful and high-powered as Kremer and Argerich's.

The first movement, probably the most elusive of the three, emerges as a hyper-romantic drama, not inappropriately given the extensive influence of Szymanowski on Bartik at the time. The playing has tremendous eloquence and range of expression and there is not
Read more a dead note anywhere in the movement. The adagio is no less enthralling and the rhythmic elasticity of the finale is just what the music needs. Kremer's earlier Hungaroton/Conifer recording, dating from 1975, was a superlative account, and it remains a good recommendation if you are looking for both sonatas Bartok sonatas; but the finely-recorded new DG is even more dazzling.

In Janacek's Sonata it may be that such consistent strength of projection is too much of a good thing. Of course it has to be fiery and passionate, but there needs also to be a sense of when that passion is being lived out in the present and when just sadly recollected. Here Sitkovetsky and Gililov on Virgin Classics are the most perceptive duo, though as ES warned, the couplings are less special—the more adventurous collector may prefer the smoother Suk/Panenka version on Supraphon/Koch International, coupled with late romantic sonatas by Foerster and Novak.

-- Gramophone [1/1991]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1, Sz 75 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Martha Argerich (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Herkulessaal, Residenz, Munich 
Length: 32 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1921; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Herkulessaal, Residenz, Munich 
Length: 16 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Thčme et Variations for Violin and Piano by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1985 
Venue:  Herkulessaal, Residenz, Munich 
Length: 7 Minutes 28 Secs. 

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