Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 2; Second Suite

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LABELS: Mercury Living Presence
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 2; Second Suite
PERFORMER: Yehudi Menuhin (violin)Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati
CATALOGUE NO: 434 350-2 ADD (1957/55)
These are renowned recordings, forty years old but as fresh as ever. Menuhin’s rapport with Bartók (they met two years before the composer’s death in 1945) was instant; the composer was struck by the young man’s ability to reach the heart of his music and one can hear why. This is a striking account of the concerto, its rugged character and lyrical exuberance displaying a flawless technique. The performance of the revised (1943) version of the early Second Suite underscores another affinity between composer and interpreter, this time with Antal Dorati, pupil, disciple and fellow Hungarian. Wonderfully spontaneous music-making here by all concerned. Christopher Fifield