Global Fascinations and Sophistications
Bartók and Janácek
One of the finest of smaller ensembles today is undoubtedly the Norwegian
Chamber Orchestra under their director Iona Brown, versatile in a whole
range of repertoire old and new. Their latest Chandos CD features music
by Bartok and Janacek, totally idiomatic in the Hungarian composer's
Divertimento for string orchestra based on Hungarian folk music, with its
rhythms in movements 1 and 3 and growing tensions during the central movement.
Marvellous precision and expressive attention to detail reaches virtuosic
peaks of excitement in the closing pages [listen
-- track 3, 5:49-6:49].
Janacek's excursions into Moravian folk poetry also inspired two
early works for string ensemble -- Idyll in seven short movements;
Suite, with six.
They date from 1878, and the year before -- 1877, respectively. Both
were initially rejected by the composer, although he did later change his
mind allowing the Suite to be numbered in his output. Idyll resurfaced
in 1937, published in 1951. Their dance movements are closer to the Baroque
period, but both have great charm and melodic content, though for the typical
Janacek of later years listeners will turn to the Lachian Dances with
their true Czech flavour. The two composers rarely confided but were superficially
polite when they met, and this is an attractive coupling, quite superbly
Copyright © 13 December 2000
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
CD INFORMATION - CHANDOS CHAN 9816
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
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