I would like to say something about Béla Bartok’s works, since in my opinion, he is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and above all because I have performed his entire repertoire for violin and orchestra, violin and piano, violin solo and chamber music, with the exception of the string quartets and the first concerto for violin and orchestra (posthumous), including, however, other works from his youth, which came to light after his death, and thus are classified as posthumous.
I am referring to a quintet for strings and piano, and a sonata for violin and piano. These works, written in a style perhaps somewhat “Straussian” and of a certain folklore nature, do however give us a glimpse of what Bartok would be at his very best. In this chapter, an Allegro, for piano and orchestra, could also be included.
My passion for Bartok comes also from having worked on his principal pieces with my maestro, André Gertler, who had collaborated with the Hungarian composer.
I will start commenting his Concerto Nº 2 for violin. It is truly one of the giants of the 20th century, together with Concerto to the memory of an angel by Alban Berg.
The beauty of concerto nº 2 is truly extraordinary. Its’ form is very classical, and it is magnificently written for the violin, in registers which, depending on the orchestration, can always be heard perfectly without obliging the soloist to force the sound.
The entrance of the violin over the harp chords is of great inspiration, as is the second theme as well. The second movement, theme with variations, in my opinion is the work of a genius. The exposition of the theme, the second variation and the last one in particular, are very moving, as is the finale.
The third movement is modeled, almost note by note, on the first one; naturally with a different character and different rhythm. This work, in general, is full of “findings”. I do not wish to make an analysis of the work but simply want to convey my sentiments. For me, it is a brilliant piece.