[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD ]
Release Date: Friday 6 November 2020
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On the present disc, Frank Peter Zimmermann, one of today's most highly regarded violinists, performs works by two Central European composers that also exemplify various currents in classical music during the period 1920-1950. Although it only received its first performance in 1973, Bohuslav Martinů's Violin Concerto No. 1 had been composed 40 years earlier in the neo-classical idiom championed by Stravinsky. In contrast, the composer's Second Violin Concerto (1943) is written in a more lyrical vein, partly to suit the playing style of Mischa Elman, the violinist who commissioned it. In both works Zimmermann is partnered by Bamberger Symphoniker under the orchestra's chief conductor Jakub Hrůša, one of the leading Martinů conductors of today.
The disc closes with a central work in the twentieth century literature for solo violin, Béla Bartók's Sonata for Solo Violin. Composed in 1944, only a year before Bartók's death, it is a deeply personal statement which fuses the overall layout of Bach's solo violin sonatas with Hungarian folk tradition with results that are as fascinating to the listener as they are challenging to the performer.
"Hrůša is as fine a Martinů interpreter as anyone on the podium currently...What impresses most here, however, is the clarity and naturalness of Zimmermann's performances, remarkable in combining an intimate knowledge of the music (the result of long study) with a freshness of approach. This is, for me, the top recommendation for these two works and, frankly, is how Martinů should always be played." Gramophone Magazine
January 2021 Recording of the Month
'Zimmermann has fully absorbed the slightly eclectic style of [the First Concerto] and produces a performance of conviction, not to mention dazzling virtuosity. Hrůša accompanies with understanding and flexibility...[In the Second] the sprung rhythms of the first movement and robust ebullience of the finale are brilliantly captured in one of the most satisfying recorded performances available.' (BBC Music Concerto Recording of the Month Feb 2021)
Violin Concerto No. 1, H. 226
Violin Concerto No. 2, H. 293
Sonata for Solo Violin, Sz. 117