Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 - Concerto for Orchestra - Music for Strings
Some of Bartók’s best-known works are collected on this album. All of them have written music history and decisively influenced classical Modernism. The composition of these works extends from 1927 (String Quartet No. 3) to 1945 (Piano Concerto No. 3). It was a time of upheaval for Bartók. Famous as one of the most successful musicians of his generation, within a short time he was declared one of the ‘degenerate’ composers by the Nazis, had to emigrate to the USA, where he led an extremely hapless life, contracted leukemia and died in 1945. The Concerto for Orchestra (1943) and the Piano Concerto No. 3 were his final major works and both rank among Bartók’s most influential compositions. String Quartet No. 3 was also an instant international success: even shortly after its composition it won the Chamber Music Award of the City of Philadelphia, and Theodor Adorno wrote a detailed essay, classifying the piece as one of the standard-setting works of his time. Piano Concerto No. 2 (1930/31) is an experiment in the manner of Neo-Classicism. The influence of Stravinsky is evident. Today, the concerto is one of the most popular piano concertos of the 20th century. The Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta (1936) is considered one of the most personal works in Bartók’s oeuvre, a work of progression, in which the composer strikes an intimate private style, seeming to reconcile Modernism with the musical past. The inner tragedy and drama of the work are harrowing, apparently auguring personal misfortune in the composer’s life .