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Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 2 / Stravinsky: Violin Concerto ~ Mullova

Bartok , Stravinsky , Salonen , Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra , Viktoria Mullova Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Viktoria Mullova
  • Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Salonen
  • Composer: Bartok, Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (March 14, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records / Philips
  • ASIN: B000024MOM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,383 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Violin Concerto In D: 1. Toccata
2. Violin Concerto In D: 2. Aria I
3. Violin Concerto In D: 3. Aria II
4. Violin Concerto In D: 4. Capriccio
5. Violin Concerto No. 2: 1. Allegro non troppo
6. Violin Concerto No. 2: 2. Andante tranquillo
7. Violin Concerto No. 2: 3. Allegro molto

Editorial Reviews

It's handy to have two of the 20th century's greatest violin concertos together on one disc, especially in such fine performances. The somewhat astringent but dance-inspired Stravinsky, in his neo-classic mode, dates from 1931. Viktoria Mullova invests it with virtuoso flair, her lean tone perfectly fitting the brittle, skittish outer movements, broadening for the melodically rich Aria movements. The Bartók gets as committed a reading, Mullova playing with rhapsodic exuberance and the orchestra matching her for color and energy. Mullova sings the delicate lyrical theme that opens the Andante tranquillo movement with intense inwardness. Esa-Pekka Salonen's sympathetic conducting makes this a partnership to treasure. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous! October 28, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Ever since I heard the recording of the Bartok concerto (with the original ending) by Mark Kaplan on Koch, I have listened to all of the recordings of this ending. I have no reservations at all in saying that I prefer the original ending. All of the conductors (Lawrence Foster, Michael Gielen, Leonard Slatkin and Esa-Pekka Salonen) play it for all its worth-and to me, it's worth a lot. I can see why Bartok published this ending. It is true, though, that it should say on the CD case that the original ending is used (which is also the case on the Tetzlaff/Gielen recording.)This is my favorite available recording of this version, as the Zuckerman/Slatkin recording is out of print. There is also room on this disc for the revised ending, which Zuckerman/Slatkin also do. All you have to do is program your CD player accordingly.As for the rest of the performance, it is absolutely fabulous. Mullova's tone never falters, and she is expressive where possible and she is backed to the hilt by Salonen and the LA Phil. The sound is gorgeous, with a very realistic bass drum. Soft playing is beautiful and loud sections are very powerful. As for the Stravinsky, this piece is foolproof, in my opinion. Every recording I have heard of this piece (Perlman/Ozawa, Stern/Stravinsky,Chung/Previn, Gitlis and now, Mullova and Salonen) is very well done. The spirit is certainly there, and Mullova certainly can play her violin well. This cd is recommended with much enthusiasm!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It is so refreshing to note that these two 20th century concerti are now considered staples of the repertoire of the major orchestras. Both of them are not only inventive and demanding, but they are also simply beautiful music!

Viktoria Mullova is a perfect match for these works. Her technique is dazzling while being more concerned with the composer's ideas than her own. In the Violin Concerto in D major by Stravinsky she is as brisk and perky as any artist on record. Her control over the dynamics and the phrasing fit like a glove.

In the Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor of Bela Bartok she sings the elegant opening movement with all the passion it demands, and yet in the second movement her technical virtuosity is cheeky and assured. In both of these works Mullova is partnered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group as conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen: finer collaboration would be difficult to imagine. The LA Phil New Music Ensemble is merely a reduced form of the LA Phil and sound is lushly resonant where called for and tightly attentive when the speed and accuracy of the collaborative portion are paramount. Salonen knows this repertoire well and molds the soloist and orchestra into a finely honed whole. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 06
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeter in both concertos than what we're used to January 14, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The Amazon reviewer, like almost every critic before him, trots out "astringent" to describe the Stravinsky violin concerto, written in 1931, the prime of his neo-clasical period. Mullova and Salonen conquer the cliche with a sweet-toned performance that dances and chirps light-heartedly. Mullova doesn't take the opportunity to dig into the music; she is content to be part f the contrapuntal weave as the most important thread. On her own terms, it's the first Stravinsky concerto performance I would call charming.

The Bartok Second Concerto is a considerably more significant masterpiece. This is a work where astringency applies, along with a touch of the barbaric. But Mullova goes her own way again--she is warm and lyrical throughout. In fact, the miraculous thing about her style in general, now that I know it fairly well--is how she can keep one's interest without much external show. She uses beauty of tone and sensitive phrasing in the best way possible, to bring across deeply felt musical instincts. I would rate her the most musical violinist now before the public, despite my high regard for Vengerov and Shaham, both of whom resemble Mullova in style. Excellent sound, by the way, and the LA Phil. plays with panache and bite in the Bartok, staying well on the side of refinement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good performance .Different Finale April 8, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This good recording is the only one to use the Second Finale that Bartok wrote to the Violin (2) Concerto. Like the Concerto for Orchestra he wrote two finalles. I prefer this used in this recording.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Viktoria Mullova is without question, among our finest solo violinists, but hers is a career that is relatively little known in the United States, in stark contrast to the ample popular and critical acclaim she's received in Europe. Her 2000 Philips recording of the Stravinsky and Bartok 2nd violin concertos should have won additional acclaim for her here, but sadly, it's been ignored, in stark contrast to other, more popular recordings from violinists as diverse as Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn, for example. Mullova is one soloist who opts for adhering as closely to the composer's wishes as possible, opting for exuberant emotional playing only when it is demanded of her in these scores. inded, her performance of the Stravinsky violin concerto is most consistent with someone performing one of Mozart's violin concerti (A comparison which is most apt given the neo-classical style of Stravinsky's work.), in which she emphasizes a lean, bright tone to her playing, which sounds almost whimsical, especially in the Aria (2nd and 3rd) and Capriccio (4th) movements. In stark contrast, her performance of the Bartok second violin sounds a bit more brash, indeed bold, but here she emphasizes a more muscular-sounding tone from her violin. In conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and a chamber orchestra-version of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she has sympathetic partners, who provide nuanced, understated, and yet, still elegant playing to her splendid solos in each concerto. Having enjoyed immensely both her recent Beethoven violin concerto recording with John Eliot Gardiner and his period instrument band and a much earlier recording that's sadly out of print of her performances of the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky violin concertos with Seiji Ozawa conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I am delighted to recommend this 2000 recording of hers as among the best I've heard of either the Stravinsky or Bartok 2nd violin concertos.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine performances of pieces I've never been too crazy about
This Philips disc features the violin concertos of Bartok and Stravinsky performed by Viktoria Mullova and the LA Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Read more
Published on November 6, 2009 by Christopher Culver
1.0 out of 5 stars The violinist is dying! The maestro is high on weed!
Mullova used to be one of my favorite young violinists, worthy follower of her teacher, the great Leonid Kogan. Read more
Published on November 16, 2008 by Carlos Icaza Estrada
5.0 out of 5 stars back in print!
This is indeed a great recording, and I have nothing to add but to note that this CD is back in print, sorta. Read more
Published on December 26, 2007 by Cindy Luk
4.0 out of 5 stars challenging and enjoyable
I am generally a fan of romantic era music. I borrowed this from the library and liked it more than I expected I would given its modernist composers. Read more
Published on October 13, 2005 by G. Metcalf
1.0 out of 5 stars Reviews Were No Help At All
I wish the previous reviewers had mentioned that this recording of Bartok's Second Violin Concerto has the original ending, and not the amazing final cadenza which is the highlight... Read more
Published on May 3, 2002 by Jeffrey W. Richman
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new violin recording NOT by Anne Sophie Mutter
No disrespect to Mutter...but I'm pretty sick of her (especially after finding out how she treats fans). Read more
Published on April 15, 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars A great case for 20thCentury music
The LA Phil - once a second-tier American orchestra - just keeps getting better and better under Salonen (witness their recent Mahler 3rd).
They and Ms. Read more
Published on April 28, 2000 by T. Dewar
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