The Violin Concerto No. 2 and the Concerto for Orchestra were composed during the difficult final years of Béla Bartók's life, the former while he faced political oppression in his native Hungary, and the latter while he was impoverished and ill in the United States. Yet in both works, the tunefulness and instant accessibility of the music tend to conceal Bartók's personal suffering, and both works are among his most popular with audiences today. This 2015 Outhere release by violinist Tedi Papavrami and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Emmanuel Krivine, presents them in a sonic showcase that heightens the solo players and separates parts with great clarity. Papavrami's lively playing is front and center throughout the Violin Concerto, and he has remarkable presence in even the softest passages, while all details of the orchestral accompaniment are fully audible behind him. The Concerto for Orchestra benefits from the close microphone placement, so the various solo lines stand out with natural sound quality and aren't artificially boosted in the mix. Newcomers to Bartók will find this album an excellent introduction to his music, thanks to the openness of both scores, while aficionados will appreciate the technical care and fine musicianship that went into this album.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Violin Concerto No. 2, SZ. 112/BB117|
|Concerto for Orchestra, SZ. 116/BB123|