Wie kaum ein anderer Komponist bereicherte Bohuslav Martinù (1890–1959) die Konzertliteratur des 20. Jahrhunderts um zahlreiche Werke u. a. Klavier-, Violin- und Cellokonzerte. Diese Kompositionen sind heute fast vollständig aus dem Blickfeld international tätiger Solisten verschwunden. Umso mehr ist die editorische Leistung von Hyperion zu würdigen, Martinùs vollständiges Œuvre für Violine und Orchester einschließlich der Konzerte für Violine und andere Soloinstrumente auf vier CDs zu veröffentlichen. Mit der vorliegenden Aufnahme der Violinkonzerte Nr. 1 und 2 findet dieses Projekt seinen gelungenen Abschluss.
This recording is the last volume of a four-disc survey of Martinu’s complete output for solo violin and orchestra, including compositions with other solo instruments. They are performed here by the orchestra in which Martinu played the violin, the distinguished Czech violinist Bohuslav Matoušek who is one of the foremost living exponents of this music, and conductor Christopher Hogwood.
Martinu’s Violin Concerto No 1 was written for the celebrated Polish-born American violinist Samuel Dushkin. Although immediately appealing to the performer, its premiere was delayed due to the volatile European political situation in the thirties, and the score was lost during World War II when Martinu was forced to hide his autographs in Europe and flee to the USA. The score was discovered in 1968 and the work did not receive its premiere until 1973. It is a dazzling, virtuoso work, revealing the influence of Dushkin’s violin playing, especially his liking for technical display.
The Violin Concerto No 2 is different from its predecessor both stylistically and in terms of its fate. It was commissioned by Mishca Elman (1891–1967), a famous American violinist of Ukrainian origin. The work’s main characteristics recall the qualities of Elman’s playing, notably his unique sound, his preference for noble and elegant melodies, his exceptional feeling for the sonority of his instrument, his love of slow tempos, and his rich use of rubato and portamento.
Bohuslav Matoušek demonstrates his great versatility in idiomatic performances of these contrasting works.
'The Second Concerto is one of Martinu's great masterpieces. Overtly romantic, the Concerto has a huge emotional range; the first movement alone encapsulates epic tragedy and exultation in a strongly symphonic developmental frame which never gets in the way of ravishing lyricism. In these beautifully recorded performances, both Christopher Hogwood and Bohuslav Matoushek have a profound understanding of Martinu's style and the Czech Philharmonic responds with radiant playing … There is no finer performance of the First Concerto available' (BBC Music Magazine)
'Josef Suk set the benchmark for both concertos but his recordings … have been overtaken by this newcomer … My recommendation is for the Hyperion set as a whole' (Gramophone)
Konzerte für Violine und Orchester Nr. 1 und 2
Nr. 1, 1. Satz: Allegro moderato
Nr. 1, 2. Satz: Andante
Nr. 1, 3. Satz: (Allegretto)
Nr. 2, 1. Satz: Andante - Poco allegro - Moderato