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Karol Szymanowski: Violin Concertos; Concert Overture
Karol Szymanowski, Vassily Sinaisky, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Karol Szymanowski: Violin Concertos; Concert Overture
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

This is the genuine article. Why these two absolutely gorgeous violin concertos aren't being performed live every 10 minutes or so is a complete mystery. There's no question that they are among the finest works of their ...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
This is the genuine article. Why these two absolutely gorgeous violin concertos aren't being performed live every 10 minutes or so is a complete mystery. There's no question that they are among the finest works of their kind composed this century--right up there with Bartók, Barber, and Shostakovich--and they have such a special, ecstatic quality of writing that your first encounter with them is sure to be well nigh unforgettable. Lydia Mordkovich, a pupil of the great David Oistrakh, has made many fine records of unusual repertoire, but none better than this. She seizes every opportunity that these two magical scores offer for sensual expression and literally bathes in it. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

If you don't know these works you... you should!
06/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The brilliance of Karol Szymanowski is present in these two violin concerti. Rarely performed these works are lost gems that deserve to be recovered from their obscurity. The writing in both concerti is beyond imaginable beauty. Especially in the First Concerto, the violin writing remains in consistanly in the high tessitura, floating above the shimmering textures and wonderfully colored harmonies in the orchestra. These works do not abandon tonality but expands traditional tonality by adding chords of amazing color. Szymanowki teases us with his dramatic structure in both works toying between ideas of wonder and amazement, playful excitment, virtuosic danger, and intense passion. The first work ends quietly, simply evaporating into the air, and the second has a powerfully dramatic ending. The performance on this CD is marvelous, and the BBC Orchestra does a fine job. Mordkovitch may lack the virtuosic power that is needed for the passages of excitement but these weakness hardly detracts from her very delicate, and passionate playing in other sections of the works."
You will be most surprised by the Concert Overture
Classic Music Lover | Maryland, USA | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Why is it that so many more women than men have performed and recorded the Szymanowski violin concerti? Wanda Wilkomirska, Suzanne Lautenbacher, Chantal Juillet, and here, Lydia Mordkovitch. They are all very good in this repertoire, and in the case of the present recording the violinist is given ravishing accompaniment by conductor Vassily Sinaisky and the BBC Philharmonic. For anyone who likes the sound-world of composers like Scriabin, Griffes, Sorabji and Cyril Scott, you'll really like Szymanowki's style -- and it's doubly interesting in that those other composers generally devoted their efforts to the piano, not the violin.

The Concert Overture is in a completely different vein -- a younger work, written under the spell of the German/Austrian late romantics. It's the best concert overture Richard Strauss never wrote! What a curtain raiser this is. The violin concertos may be way too difficult for most performers to tackle, but there's no reason why the overture couldn't be programmed by most orchestras ... it could open a symphony concert quite effectively. I imagine a conductor like Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Jarvi or JoAnn Falletta would have a field day with it -- as Sinaisky does here. (In fact, my speakers practically bottomed out during the flourish of the final orchestral peroration and closing bass drum/timpani roll.)

This CD is a winner -- great recordings of fine music, in super sound."