04 Conserto fo four-hands and Chamber Orchestra
05 Homage à Grieg For Solo Violin and Orchestra
06 Polyphonicher Tango
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Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov
Radio-Philharmonie HAnnover des NDR
Violin Homage à Grieg Kathrin Rabus
The three movement Martinu work is a legacy of his American wartime years when five symphonies tumbled out in the joyous torrential spate. Those works are irradiated by the dynamics of a scarcely containable excitement typified by the plangent the Fourth Symphony (which I still count the best of the six). The first movement surges with Martinu's usual undampened melodic energy. The ten minute middle-movement adagio only gradually declares itself as by Martinu’s hand. Play its first 3 or 4 minutes, sight unseen, to most listeners and I doubt that many will plump for Martinu. At the core of the movement is a filigree of waves and arpeggiated motion (at times redolent of Nancarrow's studies for player piano) that represents the familiar though still strange Martinu. The chirpy finale is busy and bubbly with one surreal episode at 4.09 which reminded me of the dreamlike stasis of his opera Julietta.
Schnittke's concerto turns its face from such joy. He seems to be exploring danker regions and unwelcoming depths. The horror of life and its dark other half are what Schnittke seems to aim at though he also surprises with innocence and calm as at 3.02. Anger, slow moving kaleidoscopic metamorphosis, martellato violence (8.02), phantasmal realms as far removed from Martinu's sunlight as you can go. Scrambling for parallels the closest I can achieve is to pick up Martinu's Concerto for strings, piano and timpani - a work that looked forward towards Second World War.
Rob Barnett - Musicweb
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