Bartok Violin Sonata 2 Rhapsodies/Faust/HM C

Review by: Jed Distler

Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 8

As with her previous Bartók volume in Harmonia Mundi’s Les Nouvelles Interprètes series, violinist Isabelle Faust’s polished, energetic playing leaves no detail unturned. She turns in a fervent, big-boned performance of the Second Sonata, brilliantly partnered by Florent Boffard’s nimble, responsive piano work. Although I admire the pair’s healthy athleticism in the Rhapsodies and the Danses Populaires Roumaines (arranged for violin by Zoltán Székely, for whom Bartók composed the Second Rhapsody) they gloss over the music’s earthy, speech-like syntax. Indeed, Székely himself imparts more timbral variety, idiomatic perception, and rhythmic flexibility to both Rhapsodies. A co-production with Radio France, the recording quality is bright and clear, but lacks warmth at the bottom end of the spectrum. Forty-six minutes of music is a little skimpy for a single CD these days, yet no one will feel shortchanged by Isabelle Faust’s potent gifts. I look forward to hearing more of her.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Székely (Hungaroton)

BELA BARTÓK - Violin Sonata No. 2; Two Rhapsodies for Violin & Piano; Danses Populaires Roumaines

  • Isabelle Faust (violin)
    Florent Boffard (piano)

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