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Music for a Glass Bead Game


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Audio CD, October 7, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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The novels of Hermann Hesse have always been contemplative, coming-of-age affairs, but in his post-apocalyptic novel, The Glass Bead Game, the arts, philosophy, and science collide head-on to create an enthralling, thought-provoking read. From this enlightened springboard, we have Music for a Glass Bead Game, a collection of music that is a fitting synthesis of the game described in the book (an intellectual exercise in which one idea elaborates off another). Bach's Inventions--mentioned in the book--are spread throughout the disc, but they hardly steal the show. Instead, they provide an interesting contrast with lesser-heard works for violin and cello. Kodály's Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7, is gorgeous, expressive, and filled with folksy touches. Cellist Nathaniel Rosen and violinist Arturo Delmoni deliver stirring performances with plenty of grace and delicacy, working as equal and sympathetic partners. On Martinu's Duo for Violin and Cello and Handel's Passacaglia, they similarly shine. Special nods go to John Marks Records for their impeccable recording of this pair. A disc featuring some of these works performed by Nigel Kennedy and Lynn Harrell is available, but--sonically and musically--it can't compete with this sensitive and unique recording. --Jason Verlinde

1. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 1 in C, BWV 772
2. Duo for Violin and Violoncello, Op. 7: Duo, Op. 7: I. Allegro serioso, non troppo
3. Duo for Violin and Violoncello, Op. 7: Duo, Op. 7: II. Adagio
4. Duo for Violin and Violoncello, Op. 7: Duo, Op. 7: III. Maestoso e largamenete ma non troppo lento-Presto
5. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 7 in e, BWV 778
6. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 13 in a, BWV 784
7. Duetto II: Duetto II: I. Allegro moderato
8. Duetto II: Duetto II: II. Tempo di Menuetto
9. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 9 in F, BWV 780
10. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 10 in G, BWV 781
11. Duo for Violin and Violoncello (Theodore Presser Company): Duo: I. Preludium: Andante moderato
12. Duo for Violin and Violoncello (Theodore Presser Company): Duo: II. Rondo: Allegro con brio
13. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 6 in E, BWV 777
14. Two-Part Inventions 1,3,6,7,9,10 and 13: Invention No. 3 in D, BWV 774
15. Arr. Johan Halvorsen: Passacaglia, from Suite No. 7 in minor

Product Details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, Tommaso Giordani, George Frederick Handel, Zoltan Kodaly, Bohuslav Martinu
  • Audio CD (October 7, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: John Marks Records
  • ASIN: B000003Y9F
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,446 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Paul Geffen on February 11, 1999
This recording brings together two important twentieth-century duos for violin and cello. For variety and contrast, they are presented with shorter baroque and classical works arranged for violin and cello. The result is a fascinating and delightful program.
Kodaly is neither Romantic not Modern; he is sui generis, in a class by himself. His roots run deep into the Hungarian folk tradition, which he studied and championed and then distilled into a very refined personal style. His sound is sometimes similar to that of his countryman Bartok, but I find it more lyrical, introspective, and subtle. It's deceptively simple on the surface, but this economy transmits musical expression of great depth.
Delmoni and Rosen play the Kodaly Duo passionately and with a rich, resonant tone. The Adagio is searching, mysterious and dark, and it is given a sympathetic reading here. Overall, this performance is very smooth and polished, with moderate tempos and very clean intonation and articulation. This is in contrast to the more astringent tone adopted by Josef Suk in his live performance with Andre Navarra on Praga, a more typical East European sound. Delmoni and Rosen sound restrained by comparison, but they are just as expressive in a different and less direct way.
The Martinu Duo is a short and powerful piece with some very effective contrasts between the two movements. The first is eerie, spooky, even creepy, but with counterpoint as precise as that of Bach. It is dissonant and tightly organized to great effect. The second movement shares the sense of precision but has a very different feeling; made up mostly of fast runs, it is lighter, even amusing. And the time signature keeps changing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rick Becker, equipment reviewer, on September 5, 2002
I am not a violin lover, but I asked John Marks to recommend a CD or two to use for equipment reviewing purposes. Glass Bead Game was one of them. The recording is not only excellent in audio quality, but the music itself in incredibly intriguing.
A compilation of short works, the CD is not your typical violin concerto, but a series of unpredictable pieces that hang together in a very involving way. I find myself listening to it over and over again during breakfast as well as after dinner.
Not only is Arturo's playing flawless...as best my untrained ear can tell...but the texture of the notes is extremely involving on my high resolution system. I didn't expect to be so delighted with it, but I am. Thank you very much, Mr. Marks.
Excellent recommendation!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Dowling on September 19, 2002
I've owned this cd for almost 2 years and return to it regularly when I'm in the mood for a bit of attitude from a couple of string players... The playing is top notch and the recording quality is excellent. (For the audiophile, the instruments are very "real sounding"). The selections are inspired, I love the spaning of era's and all the pieces "work" in sequence (a tough task to accomplish with music from various composers). This disc has also introduced me to a new favorite composer; Kodaly.
This is simply a wonderful disc musically, artisticly and in terms of sound quality. A rare treat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Graeme Forbes on September 2, 2002
Nicely judged program of music for violin and cello, with modern pieces by Kodaly and Martinu balancing Bach and Handel. Sounds especially good if you happen to have a CD player that does HDCD decoding (there'll be an "HDCD" logo on the front if it does). But it's excellent on a standard player too. See glassbead website for more details about the disc.
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