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Bartók, Béla: Piano Concerto No.2 (1930-31) 26'

Scoring

3.2.2.3-4.2.3.0-timp.perc-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

Territory

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the USA only.

Repertoire Note

Bartók’s less hair-raising, but longer, companion to the 1926 concerto. He said he wanted a work “less bristling with difficulties for the orchestra and whose thematic material would be more pleasing”. He characterized this concerto’s themes as ‘“light and popular”, which, given Bartók’s recent history, they are – comparatively. This concerto is quite often paired now with a Prokofieff or Shostakovich symphony after the interval. At its earliest London performance it shared the all-Bartók program with Cantata profana and Two Portraits, producing a very satisfying (if lavish) evening of instrumental and vocal soloists, along with chorus and large orchestra.

Note by Malcolm Gillies

Recommended Recording

Vladimir Ashkenazy, pft / Kyung Wha Chung, vln / London Philharmonic Orchestra / Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Sir Georg Solti, cond
Decca 473271

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