Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, one of his greatest works, was written in the United States after the composer was forced to flee Hungary during World War II. It is not only a brilliant display vehicle for each instrumental section but a work of considerable structural ingenuity that unites classical forms and sonorities with the pungency of folk rhythms and harmonies. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta explores darker moods through a score of marvelously poised symmetry. This release follows Marin Alsop's 'riveting' (Gramophone) Baltimore Symphony recordings of Dvorak's symphonies.
**** 'Two classical Bartók works are performed with pungency and bite here. Marin Alsop transmits persuasive ideas about pacing, rhythmic emphasis and instrumental colouring, conjuring up also the spectral atmosphere that is so much a part of the Elegia in the 'Concerto for Orchestra'. The orchestra's definition and intensity are equal assets in a vibrant interpretation of the 'Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta'.' --The Daily Telegraph, Review, May 5th 2012
**** 'Two quintessential Bartók works in fine performances, and at an irresistible price. The Concerto for Orchestra, in particular, is a piece that suits Marin Alsop down to the ground, and one that allows her to put her Baltimore players through their paces...Alsop responds to all these facets of the piece with both intelligence and vitality, producing a vivid performance.' --BBC Music Magazine, June 2012