Monday, 12 November 2012

Patricia Kopatchinskaja in Bartok

Despite some 55 years of constant effort, I have never really taken to the music of Béla Bartok. For me, there is a coldness, impersonality and aloofness at the heart of almost all his music. Yesterday I ventured once again into Bartok's music, this time with Patricia Kopatchinskaja playing the violin concerto. I don't know this concerto too well (though I have eight other recordings of the work – it's reasonably popular with violinists). Kopatchinskaja's performance seems to me absolutely ideal (she was the reason I bought this CD); Bartok's music should not always sound sweet and beautiful, and the sound of Kopatchinskaja here is worlds away from how I imagine Nicola Benedetti, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, et al would sound in this concerto. On occasions Kopatchinskaja tears into the music with real, throaty gusto. Bravo!

Also on the current 2-pack CDs is the violin concerto of György Ligeti that I have never heard before. It sounds worth a second hearing, at least; a good idea to have the violin cadenza right at the end of the work. As for Seven by Peter Eötvös that Kopatchinskaja also plays for around 20 long minutes; it is what I think of as “sound effects music” with predictable clunks and clicks and squeals and plonks. Once was enough.

Moldova (Kopatchinskaja's native land), Romania and Hungary have produced whole armies of world-class violinists over the years. Not too many world-class composers, however and that's a pity since this is very much Patricia Kopatchinskaja's native violin language that she expounds so well. Anyway, she is a formidable violinist outside the routine mould of concert violinists and I enjoy her playing immensely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an intoxicating Enescu 3rd sonata by her