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Bartók New Series: Sonatas for Violin & Piano Nos. 1 & 2; Sonata for Solo Violin / Barnabas Kelemen, violin; Zoltan kocsis

Album Summary

>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1, Sz 75
>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2, Sz 76
>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin solo, Sz 117
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Béla Bartók's two sonatas for violin and piano were conceived in the wake of the isolation of World War I, in pursuit of 'keeping in touch'. Between 1920 and 1923, when these works were published, Bartók traveled around Europe, gave recitals, gathered impressions of fresh musical trends and met the audiences of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, the young French composers and other Moderns. He eventually began producing sketches for these works, and was inspiration toward completion after meeting the d'Arányi sisters in Budapest in late 1921. Bartók created the style of the violin part in the first sonata with an intimate knowledge of the traditions and technique of the Hungarian Hubay school and Jelly d'Arányi's playing and temperament, while the piano accompaniment is one of the most powerful and difficult he ever wrote. Its success in concert in 1922 led him to compose the second sonata later that year. In these sibling works, Bartók comes closest to the atonal efforts of his radical contemporaries, without, however, completely abandoning tonal centers. As for the solo violin sonata, this album features the original quartertone version of the fourth movement, excised by its editor and commissioner, the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin in its initial and long-standing first edition.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Zoltan Kocsis is continuing his recordings of Bartok's music for piano with this one of the violin sonatas. Written in 1921 and 1922, these are important works in Bartok's career, especially Sonata 2, because they show him beginning to move into a more concentrated modernism that would be definitively reached with his Third Quartet. Kelemen and Kocsis thoroughly understand the sonata. It is clear that they have carefully studied Bartok and Szigeti's recording. This is Kelemen's second recording of the Solo Violin Sonata. There may be some improvement here. It appears from this release that he is best when he has an exceptional partner, as he did in his excellent recording of the Brahms violin sonatas with Tamas Vasary (Nov/Dec 2004). Not only is Kocsis a superb pianist and musician; but Kelemen, an excellent violinist, also has an exceptional rapport with him. The two play with one mind. This disc is indispensable for its interpretation and very clear recording of Sonata 2.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Phoenix Studio (2010-12-09_2010-12-13&2011-).



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Works Details

>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1, Sz 75
  • Performers: Barnabás Kelemen (Violin); Zoltan Kocsis (Piano)
  • Notes: Phoenix Studio (2010-12-09_2010-12-13&2011-)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1921

>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2, Sz 76
  • Performers: Barnabás Kelemen (Violin); Zoltan Kocsis (Piano)
  • Notes: Phoenix Studio (2010-12-09_2010-12-13&2011-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1922

>Bartók, Béla : Sonata for Violin solo, Sz 117
  • Performer: Barnabás Kelemen (Violin)
  • Notes: Phoenix Studio (2010-12-09_2010-12-13&2011-)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944