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  • Bartok: Violin Concertos, Nos. 1 and 2; Viola Concerto
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Bartok: Violin Concertos, Nos. 1 and 2; Viola Concerto

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Audio CD, September 27, 2011
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$9.85 $7.17

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Violin Concerto No. 1, BB 48a: I. Andante sostenuto 9:31Album Only
listen  2. Violin Concerto No. 1, BB 48a: II. Allegro giocoso11:22Album Only
listen  3. Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117: I. Allegro non troppo15:15Album Only
listen  4. Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117: II. Andante tranquillo 9:47Album Only
listen  5. Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117: III. Allegro molto11:07Album Only
listen  6. Viola Concerto, BB 128 (completed by Tibor Serly, 1949): I. Moderato12:20Album Only
listen  7. Viola Concerto, BB 128 (completed by Tibor Serly, 1949): II. Adagio religioso 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Viola Concerto, BB 128 (completed by Tibor Serly, 1949): III. Allegro vivace 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 

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James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He began violin studies at the age of four, at age nine he became a protege of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and from 1993 to 1997 at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his ... Read more in Amazon's James Ehnes Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bartok: Violin Concertos, Nos. 1 and 2; Viola Concerto + Bartók: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Rhapsodies Nos. 1 and 2 + Bartók: Works for Violin & Piano, Sonatas & Folk Dances
Price for all three: $38.65

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Composer: Bartok
  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,978 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Hailed as 'the Jascha Heifetz of our day' (The Globe and Mail, Canada), the violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the most dynamic and exciting performers in classical music, appearing regularly with the world's finest orchestras and conductors. Accompanied here by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda, Ehnes is the soloist in Bartok's two violin concertos in which he plays the 'Marsick' Stradivarius of 1715, as well as in the viola concerto, performing on the 'Rolla' Giuseppe Guadagnini viola of 1793, on loan from the Fulton Collection.

James Ehnes said of this disc: 'These three concertos are among the most striking examples of Bartok's early, middle, and late periods, each showing a very different side of one of the great musical voices of all time; they are among my very favourite pieces to perform'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By pekinman on November 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
James Ehnes' performance of the first movement (Andante Sostenuto) of Bartok's 1st Violin Concerto is one of the most magnificently beautiful things I've ever heard. It's right up there with Karajan's Vienna account of the Adagio from Bruckner's 8th Symphony in it's emotional wallop.
Ehnes and Gianandrea Noseda present this opening movement of this 3 concerto cd as one long serene and profound meditation on Love and Joy. It is a miracle of evocation seeing as Love and Joy are so fleeting if they ever appear at all. To capture the spirit of these two high human aspirations is astonishing enough, but the musical expression of all the participants is beyond imagination. The BBC Philharmonic plays this movement as if in an underwater trance of beauty and bliss. The woodwind tone colors are muted and melancholy but shot-through with a poignant happiness. Words escape me now.

The rest of this cd of Bartok's two Violin Concerti and the posthumous Viola Concerto is on an very high level of execution and recording.
The engineering is splendidly clear yet soft-edged and intimate. There is no want of spikiness where it is called for, and it often is in Bartok, and the technical challenges of the solo and orchestral parts are met with seeming effortlessness.

I can't recommend this set highly enough, even for those who have never warmed to Bartok's music. It is worth the price of purchase simply to have the first track of the Andante Sostenuto. It is life enhancing and that is not something that can be said very often.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded between 2009-11, has a program content that will answer many collectors' dreams as it so usefully includes the viola concerto completed posthumously but still a fine work. The usual collecting problem is finding a good viola concerto that avoids problems of coupling.

The performing style of Ehnes is generally more lyrical and less bitingly Hungarian gypsy style than is often presented. In this way the concerto becomes more central European and 'civilised' and there will be those that feel the music has been robbed of its essential folk-based earthiness. I feel that this is a valid comment. However, just as it is possible to obtain considerable pleasure of Russian music, such as that by Rachmaninov for example, by other nationalities other than the Russians even without that special Russian emotional rawness, I think that it is also possible to enjoy this disc in the same sort of way. Ehnes certainly delivers immaculate technical mastery and also provides a satisfying 'musical' performance within the limitations as described above.

What you will not get is the sort of Hungarian drive and identification that is immediately apparent in performances by Zehetmair and the Budapest orchestra conducted by Fischer for example. You will also get another example of fine Chandos engineering which aids following and unravelling the Bartok textures as they are so clearly recorded and laid out before our ears.

This then is a very satisfying disc of Hungarian origin but presented more as central violin concerto repertory. There is a place for such a disc and performance and as such I have enjoyed it - but, and it is a but, I do have the other more earthy approaches in my collection and I enjoy Ehnes mostly as an extra to the real thing! However, for those for whom this program and type of approach might make it easier to tackle one of the 20th century's great violin concertos (number 2) this may well be a perfect purchase.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Transfigured Knight on January 10, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First, let me say, James Ehnes is a superb violinist and does well in a lot of different repertoire, but I hate to say that Bartok isn't the composer for him regardless of what his attachment to these works are. He's too soft-edged for this music. He attempts to play Bartok beautifully, like Dmitry Sitkovetsky has tried to do, and both of these violinists fail in this kind of interpretation because I don't think it's what Bartok intended. Where's the passion? Where's the fire? Yes, Ehnes has great clarity in both concerti, but this isn't enough for me. In my view, Kyung-wha Chung still has the best account of these two concerti on record (VC's 1 & 2 w/ Solti/CSO, second recorded performance of VC 2 under Rattle/CBSO).

The accompaniment from Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic seems rather uninvolved. Noseda has turned in several good performances but this wasn't one of them. He doesn't seem too interested in the music. Let's face it: Solti, Boulez, and Ivan Fischer are still the supreme Bartok conductors of the last 30 years. Each of these conductors understand this music from the inside/out. Noseda is just bland and dull to the point of where it's almost insulting to be performing Bartok's music this way.

The audio quality was fine, but not even this can save this dismal performance. For a better account of the 1st and 2nd VCs, try Kyung-wha Chung or Thomas Zehetmair (Fischer/Budapest Festival Orch./Berlin Classics). These two violinists understand the music and how to actually achieve intensity and an emotional drive in their interpretations.
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I bought this cd mainly for the Viola Concerto, hoping for a full-bodied and rich viola sound combined with an excellent performance. I certainly got both. I love the viola and have a number of recordings of various types of music featuring it, but this one really stands out because it's rare to hear such richness and power from the viola. The total performance is stunning, even better than Kim Kashkashian's, and the glorious viola sound is quite addictive.

I would love to have Ehnes record the Bach Cello Suites and give Maxim Rysanov some competition.
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