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Bela Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Isabelle Faust

Isabelle Faust Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £12.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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"Her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the musics hidden strains of lyricism ..." - New York Times

Isabelle Faust adopts a perspective on music in which ever-new experiences and discoveries are the principal focus. Having founded a string quartet when just eleven, her early chamber music ... Read more in Amazon's Isabelle Faust Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bela Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Isabelle Faust + Schubert: Complete Works For Violin And Piano [Alina Ibragimova, Cédric Tiberghien] [Hyperion: CDA67911/2]
Price For Both: £34.65

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Product details

  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Composer: Bela Bartok
  • Audio CD (29 July 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B00COU07DO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,229 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Violin Concerto No.1, Sz 36, Op. posth.: I. Andante sostenutoIsabelle Faust, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding 9:49£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Violin Concerto No.1, Sz 36, Op. posth.: II. Allegro giocosoIsabelle Faust, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding12:18Album Only
Listen  3. Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112: I. Allegro non troppoIsabelle Faust, Daniel Harding and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra15:18Album Only
Listen  4. Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112: II. Andante tranquilloIsabelle Faust, Daniel Harding and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra 9:16£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112: III. Allegro moltoIsabelle Faust, Daniel Harding and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra11:15Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

Isabelle Faust's first recording for harmonia mundi, Bartok Sonatas, won her a Gramophone Young Artist of the Year. Here she returns to Bartok, perfoming the two concertos, accompanied by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio SO. Such is the fame of Bartók s Second Violin Concerto (1937-38), that it has virtually eclipsed the First, written 30 years before. Yet, this earlier work, rediscovered long after the composer s death, has a fascinating story all of its own. True to form, Isabelle Faust has gone back to the multiple musical sources of this First Concerto, a work that came straight from the heart , as Bartók s romance with a young violinist lay at the core of its creative process. 'I owe my enthusiasm for the music of Béla Bartók to the wonderful Hungarian violinist Dénes Zsigmondy, who was privileged to know the composer personally. At the age of eleven, I was lucky enough to study the Sonata for solo violin with him and thus to discover Bartók s world in a very emotional and instinctive way. In the years since then, Dénes Zsigmondy, his conception of music, and especially his interpretation of Bartók have formed an important component of my artistic career. It seemed only logical to choose the Bartók sonatas for my debut CD. I am now delighted to present the two violin concertos in this recording. It is intended as a musical expression of my admiration for the composer Béla Bartók and my gratitude for the continued inspiration and faithful friendship of Dénes Zsigmondy. My warm thanks go to László Somfai and László Vikárius of the Bartók Archives in Budapest and to Felix Meyer of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel for their generous support of this project. Finally, I would like to express my profound appreciation of and indebtedness to Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra for their absolutely fantastic contribution to the recording sessions.' Isabelle Faust

Product Description

HMF 902146; HARMONIA MUNDI - Francia; Classica Orchestrale per violino

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Irony and Sarcasm 9 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD
Isabelle Faust can claim a direct line to Béla Bartók himself; as an eleven year old studying the Sonata for solo violin, her teacher was the Hungarian violinist Dénes Zsigmondy, who had known the composer personally. It was natural (she notes in the booklet) that she should choose the Bartók: Violin Sonatas as her debut disc. Now, again for Harmonia Mundi, she has taken on the two concertos.

Faust prepared carefully for these recordings with much research, the findings of which are detailed in her five page essay which accompanies the disc. She has clearly made some significant discoveries; for instance, on consulting the first performance solo part of the first concerto she found some annotations in the composer's own hand, which don't seem to have come to light before. In one of these reference is made quite specifically to the first few notes of the second movement, which Bartók wrote are to be played 'without vibrato'.

The first concerto is less often recorded than the second, but Faust makes as convincing case as possible for it to be brought back into the mainstream repertoire, both in her writing and in her playing. The work is a love-letter to the violinist Stefi Geyer, and the first notes were sketched during their holiday together in the summer of 1907. Geyer declined to perform it however, breaking off their relationship soon after it was finished. Bartók noted in a letter that for him, composition involved the whole self, exhibiting 'more exactly than a biography...the driving passions of a life'. All emotions were admitted, '...grief, rage, vengeance, twisted irony, sarcasm.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stonking Volatility 10 Sep 2013
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Last year Isabelle Faust gave us the outstanding disc of the year featuring one of the greatest violin concertos of the 20th century. After that triumphant account of the Berg (coupled with the Beethoven), she has returned with a new recording of Bartók's two violin concertos, joined by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Even it doesn't quite eclipse last year's offering, this is still a seriously impassioned disc, showing Faust in stonking form.

Bartók's First Violin Concerto has naturally be eclipsed by its kinetic successor, though judging by the post-Romantic intensity of Faust and Harding's performance, number one deserves a seriously considered reappraisal. Like Abbado's reading of the Berg, Harding is totally unabashed about delivering the emotional force of a work which is littered with markings such as 'always volatile', 'utterly desolate' and 'with great feeling'. Faust's sweet voice is rendered even more heavenly by the fervency of the Swedes' playing.

The ensuing Allegro giocoso begins as a barbed retort, but likewise soon wears its heart on its sleeve. Faust brings wonderful heal-of-the-bow bite to more virtuoso passages, spurring the orchestra into life, with thrilling exchanges between the violin and upward spiralling woodwind. Occasionally the bloomy production, made in the Berdwaldhallen in Stockholm, fudges details, but Faust, the orchestra and Harding still manage to bring this unjustly overlooked work into heartfelt and energetic life.

Infinitely more familiar is the 1938 Concerto, written for Zoltán Székely. Like Berg's near contemporaneous work, it has many great advocates, though again Faust is undaunted by the performance history.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Isabelle and her wonderful smelter 8 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Out of silence, a hungry serpent writhes sensuously, unbiddable, rapt. It is the sound of an introductory solo by a great composer for the violin, brought alive here by a great player of the instrument. Isabelle Faust, after years away, has returned to Bartók, his first violin concerto is in hand, and turbulent congress of soloist and orchestra righteously ensues.
In 1907-8, the 26-year-old Hungarian wrote the concerto for, and about, the teenage violinist Stefi Geyer, whom he adored. Here she seems to be - variously skittish, petulant, laughing, answering back, and more. The second movement offers a clear and delightful evocation of the speedy slithers from love-making to languor and from quarrelling to making-up. (About the time that the concerto was completed and ready to be sent to Geyer, she broke off the relationship with Bartók, by letter.)
The orchestral writing in the first movement might have been less referential to the work of other composers, but the violin music is ever-engaging, full of amazements. In the second movement, the orchestra in this recording, just now and then, needed to impart more colour, even a touch more urgency, to bolster the composition.
There is no lack of urgency in the interpretation of the second concerto, where the conductor shows himself longer on rampage than on restraint. Well, 30 years had passed since Bartók wrote the first concerto, during which central Europe had become a madhouse of the politics of the snarl, and cultural life in Hungary was often in spiteful upheaval. Even so, for the taste of some listeners, the funfair-cum-nightmare may be too rapid in this version. (The first movement's score is marked allegro non troppo.
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