ALBUM TITLE: Martinu
WORKS: Complete music for Violin and Orchestra, Vol. 2: Concerto da camera; Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra; Czech Rhapsody (arr. Teml)
PERFORMER: Bohuslav Matousek (violin)Karel Kosárek (piano)Czech Po/Christopher Hogwood
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67672
This second volume of Martinu’s complete music for violin and orchestra focuses on works composed during his American years. The Concerto da Camera was requested by Paul Sacher for his Basel orchestra in 1941, more or less on the eve of Martin∞’s flight from Europe. The first movement shares the tensions of his Double Concerto for Strings, Timpani and Piano, but there are also hints of the rich lyricism of his works of the 1940s and ’50s. Written ten years later for the same instrumental combination, the second concerto performed here explores the lyrical impulse still further, indeed the outer movements are close to the warm, Mediterranean world of Martin∞’s Italian opera Mirandolina. The Czech Rhapsody, composed for Kreisler, is illuminated by the sense of optimism felt at the conclusion of the Second World War; originally intended for performance on violin and orchestra, the piano score Martin∞ left has been well orchestrated here by Jirí Teml. Christopher Hogwood and Karel Matou≥ek are entirely at home with this repertoire: there is a wealth of interpretative detail, but what impresses most is the bigger picture and strong sense of where Martinu is going. Some rhythms could be more tightly sprung, but in this clear recording there is a huge amount to enjoy.