Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop
Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116
Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106
Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, one of his greatest works, was written in the United States after the composer was forced to flee Hungary during World War II. It is not only a brilliant display vehicle for each instrumental section but a work of considerable structural ingenuity that unites classical forms and sonorities with the pungency of folk rhythms and harmonies. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta explores darker moods through a score of marvellously poised symmetry.
This release follows Marin Alsop’s ‘riveting’ (Gramophone) Baltimore Symphony recordings of Dvořák’s symphonies.
This has long been a popular coupling of works by Béla Bartók, but this new release rides on the crest of a wave of previous successes and will occupy a leading position amongst the competition on the quality of its recording and performance. Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have a synergy which has made their Dvořák symphonic recordings sound ‘as fresh as when Dvořák put pen to paper’ (BBC Music Magazine on the Symphonies 7 and 8, NBD0010). Of Dvořák’s New World Symphony (8570714) BBC Music Magazine also wrote, ‘it is rare to be able to say that a performance forces one to listen to a work anew, but this is exactly what Alsop’s reading achieves.’