Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Martinu, Bohuslav. (1890-1959) The Complete music for Violin and Orchestra. Volume 1.

From my collection.
Bought in March 2010.
First listen: 22-3-2010.
Second listen: 24-5-2017.
Label: Hyperion.
Recording dates: 2004 & 2005.
Recording venue: Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic.
Recording engineer: Tomáš Zikmund.
Running time: 55:06.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Concerto for Flute, Violin and orchestra, H. 252.
Duo concerto for two Violins and orchestra. H. 264.
Concerto in D major for Two violins and orchestra. H. 329.

Performed by:
Czech PO, Christopher Hogwood.
Bohuslav Matousek, Violin.

From all three concertos on this disc I like H. 329 the most, purely for its orchestral parts, and a consistent melody line. Both the H. 252 and 264 are fine enough, but rather busy and insistently predominant in expression. H. 329 has no shortage in warmth or romantic notions, and a rather engaging expression. It is shot through with light passages of bubbling frolocking, but also harmonic ingenuity. Remarkable bursts of pinpoint articulation and a very elegant narrative. This is the sort of music I want to hear from Martinu.
Both other concertos are constantly moving from one idea to another in split seconds. There is a sumptuous array of crisp and incisive melody lines that shoot around you in a quick-silvery way.
Rhythmical dynamism is another apt description. But the music is eloquent, and scintillating, and it flourishes under the treatment by Hogwood and this fine orchestra. There is plenty of swagger I guarantee you. As to the performance I have no complaints. At some places in the H.252 the sound can be a tad too bright, you'll noticed this clearly when the Flute comes in, quite a deafening tone, so be aware. The other concertos are top notch.



Salvatore, Giovanni. (c.1610-1688) Works for Harpsichord and Organ, plus a Missa.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 22-11-2017. Label: Glossa. Recording dates: October 1998 & June 1999...