Inconsistent renderings of the Bartok concertos



Bartok: Violin Concertos * * *
Isabelle Faust (violin)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding
Harmonia Mundi
Isabelle Faust, a very good violinist, does not seem to be comfortable with Bartok’s lesser known first concerto, that opens this CD. The first theme, as it unfolds, is not given the space it needs and the ,melody does not grow, making this an unattractive piece, easily overshadowed by the better known second concerto. Faust lacks the required expression and is too timid in her thoughts. The slow tempo choice does not help either. The second movement is not crispy enough and as the music progresses, Faust’ does not seem to have a plan to develop the music.  change in the second more famous concerto. Here, she has the passion required for the first movement and the main theme of the second movement is played so attractively that the last movement’s savage moods create a dramatic twist that the composer must have imagined. It is certainly a good idea to combine these two concertos, but the first, which is more difficult to bring out, fails easily, and Faust would have done better to couple the better played second concerto with something else.
Feyzi Erçin



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