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Discussion: Bartok: Sonatas for Violin & Piano Nos 1, 2; Sonata for Solo Violin - Kelemen, Kocsis

Posts: 24
Page: 1 2 3 next

Post by Fugue January 25, 2013 (1 of 24)
This ought to be amazing and definitive! I think it's the first SACD of the Sonata No.1. Just ordered mine.

Post by Nagraboy January 25, 2013 (2 of 24)
Fugue said:

This ought to be amazing and definitive! I think it's the first SACD of the Sonata No.1. Just ordered mine.

I received it through the post today. It is indeed the first SACD outing for the Sonata No.1 and sounds great! I heard the piece live late last year and have been hooked on Bartók ever since! I'm thinking if buying the whole Hungaroton Bartók series now...

Post by Fugue February 19, 2013 (3 of 24)
Mine arrived today--wow! This is the finest performance of the Sonata No.1 that I have heard. The other pieces are available on 2L, which boasts even better/richer sound, but Kocsis and Kelemen have this music in their blood, and their sound is still superb.

Post by Beagle February 22, 2013 (4 of 24)
Indeed, it is great to have the frequently recorded Second Concerto (Sz 76) and the rarely recored First Concerto (Sz 75) on the same SACD; the two works effectively compress a lifetime of composition into a single listening. The Second is too familiar* for me to characterise in words, it is simply The Second. The less familiar First is delightfully impressionistic in addition to being echt-Bartók.

We now have Bartók's masterpiece, Sonata for Solo Violin (Sz 117), issued on six different SACDs; I have four of them:
- Bartók: Violin Sonatas - Annar Follesø
- Bartok - Elise Båtnes, Håvard Gimse
- Violin Solo Vol. 2 - Renate Eggebrecht
- Bartok: Sonatas for Violin & Piano Nos 1, 2; Sonata for Solo Violin - Kelemen, Kocsis

The Båtnes disc is sonically narrow, verging on shrill, i.e. intense in the upper spectrum, and her rhythm feels unnatural (hers is the slowest rendition on SACD, virtually the same as Nigel Kennedy's on CD). Eggebrecht is a bit better but sonically echoey (bathtub acoustics) and to my ears 'speaks Hungarian with a Brahmsian accent'. The current rendition by Kelemen is well recorded and played BUT the 2L recording of Follesø continues to be my reference disc for this work: faultless yet emotional playing recored with a rich spectrum of overtones. The Hungaroton recording is clear but sonically 'dry'. If I were to be visited by an audiophile, I would play the 2L disc -- but if I were visited by a professional violinist, I would play the Hungaroton disc which more starkly displays those special Bartók snap- and glissando-pizzicati.
____________________
*I struggle to not 'hum along with Béla', Glenn Gould fashion.

Post by Fugue February 23, 2013 (5 of 24)
Beagle said:

The current rendition by Kelemen is well recorded and played BUT the 2L recording of Follesø continues to be my reference disc for this work: faultless yet emotional playing recored with a rich spectrum of overtones. The Hungaroton recording is clear but sonically 'dry'.

Really? It doesn't sound dry on my system. It's not as ambience-laden as the 2L, but I wouldn't call it dry. I do think the 2L is a bit richer and warmer, though. Still, the new one has perfectly fine sound, and Kocis plays the daylights out of the piano parts!

Post by Beagle February 24, 2013 (6 of 24)
Fugue said:
It doesn't sound dry on my system.

Okay... 'relatively more dry', maybe the Hungaroton is a 60 and the 2L is a 40 on a scale of 100. Both discs are must-haves for lovers of Bartók, the partial overlap in content is interesting, and the rest is frosting on the cake.

All that having been said, the 2L with Follesø is still the magical disc.

Post by Fugue February 24, 2013 (7 of 24)
Beagle said:

Okay... 'relatively more dry', maybe the Hungaroton is a 60 and the 2L is a 40 on a scale of 100. Both discs are must-haves for lovers of Bartók, the partial overlap in content is interesting, and the rest is frosting on the cake.

All that having been said, the 2L with Follesø is still the magical disc.

Yeah, I wish 2L had included both Sonatas instead of "Contrasts"--but I would still have purchased the Hungaraton release for its authenticity!

Post by dcramer February 24, 2013 (8 of 24)
Fugue said:

Yeah, I wish 2L had included both Sonatas instead of "Contrasts"--but I would still have purchased the Hungaraton release for its authenticity!

Not me!! I'm incredibly thankful for the Contrasts, it's the best all-around recording of it I've ever heard and I've heard most of them. I'm totally happy to buy the Hungaraton for the 1st sonata; I never tire of the Kocsis/Bartok combo.

Post by sunnydaler March 3, 2013 (9 of 24)

Post by Beagle March 4, 2013 (10 of 24)
sunnydaler said:
http://www.klassik-heute.com/kh/3cds/20130301_20658.shtml (German)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

After a successful treatment of the two Violin Concerti and the two Rhapsodies, Kelemen and Kocis are back. This time with experimental chamber-music by Bartók from the early Twenties, which attempts more than it achieves. The music is 'explosive' and its 'detonations' too much so for the piano -- but the musicians 'pull no punches'.
--review by Rasmus van Rijn


[This is indeed HSACD 32515 but with the back of the booklet illustrated instead of the cover. Excuse me if I missed any important points here, the syntax is echt-Deutsch....]

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