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Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No 2; Concerto for Orchestra / Augustin Dumay, violin; Kent Nagano, Montréal SO

Notes & Reviews:

"Bartk's Violin Concerto No.2 was commissioned in 1936 by the eminent Hungarian violinist Zoltn Szkely, a personal friend and frequent recital partner of the composer. It is a work that takes the virtuosity and melodic richness of the Romantic concerto tradition and recasts it in the terms of Bartk's own, highly personal idiom, with all its contradictions - spiky yet warm, bold and yet contained. The violin concerto is paired with the Concerto for Orchestra, a work that embodies a perfect synthesis of all the elements of Bartk's mature style. By virtue of its accessibility, it brought him a far wider audience than he had previously known. French violinist Augustin Dumay is the soloist in the violin concerto, joined by Kent Nagano leading the Montral Symphony Orchestra.

The Guardian, 21st April 2016
The Concerto for Orchestra gets an upright and straight ahead performance, flecked with the string suppleness and woodwind finesse of mighty Montreal recordings of yore.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2016
I enjoyed [the Second Violin Concerto] enormously, principally because it harks back to the wholesomely romantic approaches of Stern with Bernstein (Sony) and Menuhin with Dorati... Augustin Dumay digs lustily into the concerto's opening and Kent Nagano's big-boned response sings the same language... the Concerto for Orchestra again benefits from Nagano's penchant for rich textures.


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