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Martinu: The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra Vol 1

Album Summary

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Concerto for flute, violin & chamber orchestra, H. 252
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Duo Concertante for 2 violins & orchestra (Concerto no 1), H. 264
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Concerto for 2 violins & orchestra (no 2), H. 329
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"One wonders at first just how much feeling Hogwood has for Martinu's music, but the Czech Philharmonic couldn't really perform this music badly - nor could the chief soloist, Bohuslav Matousek... The performances prove to be highly satisfactory and are extremely well recorded. The notes are detailed and well written. The only other recordings of two of the works cannot compare with this one." -American Record Guide

'[Duo concertante] Written in Martinu's best 1930s concerto grosso style, its three movements are limpidly scored, allowing the flowing, interweaving lines of the soloists to sound to best advantage; as the excellent booklet-notes say, "an extraordinary musical experience" ... This disc is an utter delight from start to finish' (Gramophone)

'Attractive but unfamiliar pieces which few but the most seasoned Martinu fans will already know, in performances that are not only enjoyable in themselves but which whet the appetite for their successors ... Christopher Hogwood keeps the music unfolding naturally throughout ... Everything here shows Martinu's typically festive imagination in full flight' (International Record Review)

'A splendid voyage of discovery for music lovers. Some of these pieces have been recorded previously, but the playing here is so much better in all respects that we might as well consider these performances to be recording premieres. And if you don't know this music, you are in for a big treat... these performances offer the last word in brilliance and idiomatic style ... Gorgeously engineered, this fabulous disc only whets the appetite for the remainder of the series' (ClassicsToday.com)

'The performances are excellent, without exception. Matousek has the technique for the worst hurdles, yet preserves an expressive, suave tone for more poetic pages ... Hogwood ... leads spirited readings in which the Czech Philharmonic reveals the expertise and precision lost after so many members emigrated in the 1990s' (Fanfare, USA)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Written in Martinu's best 1930s concerto grosso style, the Duo concertante's three movements (fast-slow-fast) are limpidly scored, allowing the flowing, interweaving lines of the soloists to sound to best advantage; as the excellent bookletnotes say, 'an extraordinary musical experience'.

For this equally vibrant recording, Régis Pasquier partners Bohuslav Matouek while Jennifer Koh appears with Matouek in the Concerto in D major (1950). Unlike its predecessor, the later work is in the standard 19th-century concerto format - one reason why Martinu did not number the works - and structurally quite different.

For one thing, there is no real slow movement, the central span (dovetailed into the finale) being moderate in pace with a più vivo central section. In atmosphere it is one of those fleet-footed yet serene works in which Martinu's inspiration seems just to beam from ear to ear.

This first volume, in what will be a series of four devoted to Martinu's concertante works for violin, is completed by another enchanting early double concerto, for flute and violin, penned in just 10 days in 1936. There is no hint of rush in its fresh and lively invention, the solo roles played with beguiling ease by Janne Thomsen and Matouek. Accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic - in whose second violin section the composer played in the 1920s - this disc is an utter delight from start to finish.



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Works Details

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Concerto for flute, violin & chamber orchestra, H. 252
  • Performers: Bohuslav Matousek (Violin); Jan Thomsen (Flute)
  • Conductor: Christopher Hogwood
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic (12/01/2005-12/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 09/13/1936

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Duo Concertante for 2 violins & orchestra (Concerto no 1), H. 264
  • Performers: Bohuslav Matousek (Violin); Régis Pasquier (Violin)
  • Conductor: Christopher Hogwood
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic (06/04/2004-06/05/2004)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 11/1937-12/1937

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Concerto for 2 violins & orchestra (no 2), H. 329
  • Performers: Bohuslav Matousek (Violin); Jennifer Koh (Violin)
  • Conductor: Christopher Hogwood
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic (06/04/2004-06/05/2004)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto