Bohuslav Martinů’s distinctive musical voice, which infuses the great Czech tradition with modern idioms, is showcased in this captivating survey of his concertante works, performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille conducted by Lawrence Foster.
The Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra is a lively and rhythmic tour de force. Breezily energetic and relentless, it is full of jazzy inflections and high speed fireworks, pausing only in the tranquillity of the slow movement for moments of serene calm. By contrast, the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra is a warm, lyrical work in the Romantic tradition. With its intricate and interweaving solo lines, expansive melodies and dance-like syncopations it’s an engaging work of considerable charm which deserves a wider audience. The Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is a dreamily nostalgic work whose simple melodies, radiant lyricism and soaring viola line make it one of the 20th century’s most performed viola concertos.