Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra op. 116

Tonkunstler Orchestra, Jun Märkl
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The word "symphony" derives from sumphōnos, meaning harmonious, or more literally "sounding together" – and that is precisely what Béla Bartók wanted to avoid here. In 1943, he named his new work for large orchestra a "Concerto for Orchestra". The instruments do sometimes harmonize, and sometimes even seem to melt together. Under Jun Märkl's direction, the Tonkunstler Orchestra sound like velvet. Yet Bartók used his title to indicate that there are also individual voices singing here. Individual voices, rather than a sluggish (late romantic) symphonic mass, was was the case among so many of Bartók's colleagues. Béla Bartók left his home in Hungary in 1941, fleeing from fascism and war to New York. Yet he struggled to find his feet there. The premiere of the Concerto for Orchestra saved him from his plight. The work was a huge success. It has gone down in history as one of the rare 20th century works which was adored by contemporary audiences, and has retained its status down to the present day. Wide ranging dynamics and lots of melodies from the Tonkunstler Orchestra at the St. Pölten Festival Hall. 

Premiere
recorded at 04/15/2022, 08:00pm (CEST)
Program
Concerto for Orchestra Sz 116

I. Introduzione

II. Giuoco delle coppie

III. Elegia

IV. Intermezzo interrotto

V. Finale