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Bartók, Béla: Violin Concerto No.2 op. BB117 (1937-38) 32'

Scoring

2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=dbn)-4.2.3.0-timp.perc(2):cyms/ tam-t/tgl/BD/SD-harp-cel-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

Territory

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

23/03/1939
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Zoltán Szekely, violin / Concertgebouw Orchestra / Willem Mengelberg

Repertoire Note

This is the only violin concerto that Bartók himself officially recognized. It is, perhaps, the most polished of all his concertos, and – as with the Sonata for Solo Violin a few years later — shows his consummate understanding of writing for strings. By good fortune its 1939 première, prepared with Zoltán Székely as soloist, was recorded, and remains a priceless document of performance practice. This concerto’s natural siblings include the inter-war violin concertos of Berg, Weill and Szymanowski.

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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