Thirty years divide Hungarian composer Bartók’s two violin concertos, their dramas played out with exquisite richness by Capuçon and the London Symphony Orchestra. The First Concerto is a lusciously scored expression of unrequited love for a young violinist, its opening movement sweeping and passionate. The second, final movement, meanwhile, is full of joy with snatches of Hungarian folk song. The Violin Concerto No. 2 is a different beast with its nods to Berg and Prokofiev. A strumming opening gives way to music of thunderous energy, breathtaking virtuosity, and beauty, all of which the masterful Capuçon dispatches with a coolness of head but warmness of heart.
Violin Concerto No. 1, Sz. 36
Violin Concerto No. 1, Sz. 36: I. Andante sostenuto