Violin Concerto No.1 op.posthop. BB48a (1907-08)
Boosey & Hawkes
A ‘lost’ work, only first performed in 1958, after its dedicatee, the violinist Stefi Geyer, had died. The first movement is a radiant idealization of Bartók’s true love; the second, a more boisterous picture of Geyer. This work is truly “written from the heart”. In essence, it is (unlike his Violin Concerto No.2) a late- Romantic concerto. Bartók salvaged the music of the first movement in his Two Portraits. That pairing is perhaps more dramatically effective for the audience, but leaves the solo violinist wondering what to do in the second Portrait, which does not have a separate
solo violin part.
Note by Malcolm Gillies
Vladimir Ashkenazy, pft / Kyung Wha Chung, vln / London Philharmonic Orchestra / Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Sir Georg Solti, cond