Magazine article Gramophone

Martinu: Rhapsody-Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Martinu: Rhapsody-Concerto

Article excerpt

Martinu [G]

Rhapsody-Concerto, H337 (a). Three Madrigals (Duo No 1), H313 (b). Duo No 2, H331 (b). Viola Sonata, H355 (c) Maxim Rysanov va (b) Alexander Sitkovetsky vn [c] Katya Apekisheva pf (a) BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jiff Belohlavek BIS (F) [SACD] BIS2030 (68' * DDD/DSD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The viola player Maxim Rysanov is the star attraction in this collection of music from Martinu's last years, during which he was on the move more than once from the United States to Europe. In 1952 he was commissioned by the Principal Viola of Szell's Cleveland Orchestra to write a Rhapsody-Concerto in two movements, a form he favoured, and one that liberated him from more conventional structures towards 'fantasy', to coin his own word.

Within all four works there's often a note of poignant nostalgia as the composer casts a backwards look to his Bohemian roots. The Rhapsody-Concerto opens in such a vein, with a lyrical string theme that returns in various guises. …

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