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Bartok Festival in ElbPhilharmonie

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Bartok Festival - Elbphilharmonie
Bartok: Violin Concerto No.2 
Bartok: Two Pictures for orchestra
Bartok: Miraculous mandarin, suite
Valery SOKOLOV, violin
At the “Kosmos Bartók” festival, the NDR Radiophilharmonie is dedicating itself to orchestral works from three different creative phases of the composer. At the podium is the Russian conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky, who has caused a stir in the international music world in recent years and “has consolidated his place among the most important conductors of our time” (Diapason Magazine). Stanislav Kochanovsky has had a long-standing international collaboration with the Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov and an intensive engagement with Bartók's music.
Bartók's "Two Pictures" for orchestra from 1910 presents the young composer. The tonal language of the work has a Hungarian flavor and is charged with stirring and energetic energy by Eastern European dance rhythms. However, a lot of subtle French coloring can also be felt and heard, because at this time Bartók was intensively concerned with Debussy's impressionistic sound world.
A decade later, we experience a completely different Bartók, who is now at the forefront of the avant-garde and writes one of his most gripping scores for the pantomime "The Wonderful Mandarin": the sound image of a city as a juggernaut, drawn with hectic, urban music full of hardships and contrasts . The premiere of the piece in 1926 in Catholic Cologne became a real scandal. The sex and crime theme, composed in harsh and haunting tones, irritated and even shocked the audience at the time. None other than Mayor Konrad Adenauer intervened and banned further performances.
Another decade later, the composer appears to be downright mild in age when it comes to his compositional form: his Violin Concerto No.2 from 1938 follows the classic three-movement pattern - although the second movement is a variation movement and the final movement varies the first movement. All in all, this violin concerto is extremely complex, combining, among other things, folkloric elements with twelve-tone composing and radiates an expressivity that once “almost took the breath away” of the young Valeriy Sokolov when he first heard it.
(c) NDR