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CHAN 10820
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CHAN 10820

Bartok: Chamber Works for Violin, Volume 3

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2012


Michael Collins


Andrew Armstrong


James Ehnes


Amy Schwartz Moretti



Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk


Rachel Smith

Ralph Couzens



Ben Connellan

Record Label




Total Time - 68:02
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Contrasts, BB 116 (1938)

  for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano  
  Written for and dedicated to Benny Goodman and Joseph Szigeti  
1 I Verbunkos (Recruiting Dance). Moderato, ben ritmato - 5:06
  Più tranquillo - Meno mosso - Più mosso - Meno mosso -  
2 II Pheno (Relaxation). Lento - Movendo - Tempo I - 4:26
3 III Sebes (Fast Dance). Allegro vivace - Meno vivo - Tempo I - 6:41
 Michael Collins clarinet
 Andrew Armstrong piano

Sonatina, BB 102a (1925)

  Transcription for Violin and Piano by Endre (André) Gertler (1907-1998) of original version for solo piano, BB 69 (1915)  
4 I Dudások (Cornemuses/Bagpipes). Allegretto - Allegro - 1:30
5 II Medvetánc (Danse de l'ours/Bear Dance). Moderato 0:40
6 III Finale. Allegro vivace - Sostenuto - Tempo I - Sostenuto molto - 2:07
 Andrew Armstrong piano

Forty-four Duos, BB 104 (1931)

  for Two Violins  
  Book I  
7 1 Párositó (Martchmaking Song). Andante 0:59
8 2 Kalamajkó (Maypole Dance). Andante 0:40
9 3 Menuetto. Moderato 1:00
10 4 Szentivánéji (Summer Solstice Song). Risoluto 0:53
11 5 Tót nóta (1) (Slovakian Song [1]). Molto moderato 0:58
12 6 Magyar nóta (1) (Hungarian Song [1]). Moderatamente mosso 0:56
13 7 Oláh nóta (Walachian Song [2]). Allegro moderato 0:46
14 8 Tót nóta (2) (Slovakian Song [2]). Andante 0:57
15 9 Játék (Play Song). Allegro non troppo 0:44
16 10 Rutén nóta (Ruthenian Song). Andante 1:04
17 11 Gyermekrengetéskor (Cradle Song). Lento 1:16
18 12 Szénegüjtéskor (Hay-gathering Song). Lento religioso 0:55
19 13 Lakodalmas (Wedding Song). Adagio 1:30
20 14 Párnás tánc (Pillow Dance). Allegretto 0:56
  Book II  
21 15 Katonanóta (Soldiers' Song). Maestoso 1:03
22 16 Burleszk (Burlesque). Allegretto - Un poco più tranquillo - 0:59
23 17 Menetelö nóta (1) (Hungarian March [1]). Tempo di 0:46
  marcia, allegramente - Più mosso  
24 18 Menetelö nóta (2) (Hungarian March [2]). Tempo di marcia 0:45
25 19 Mese (A Fairy Tale). Molto tranquillo 1:07
26 20 Dal (Alternating Song). Allegretto - Meno mosso 1:27
27 21 Ujévköszöntö (1) (New Year's Greeting [1]). Adagio - 2:07
28 22 Szunyogtánc (Mosquito Dance). Allegro molto 0:41
29 23 Menyasszonybúcsúztató (Farewell to the Bride). 1:20
  Lento rubato  
30 24 Tréfás nóta (Jeering Song). Allegro scherzando - 0:45
  Meno mosso  
31 25 Magyar nóta (2) (Hungarian Song [2]). Allegretto, 0:57
  leggero- Meno mosso  
  Book III  
32 26 'Ugyan édes komámasszony…' (Teasing Song). 0:30
33 27 Sánta-tánc (Limping Dance). Allegro non troppo - 0:33
34 28 Bánkódás (Sorrow). Lento poco rubato 2:18
35 29 Ujévköszöntö (2) (New Year's Greeting [2]). Tempo giusto 0:43
36 30 Ujévköszöntö (3) (New Tear's Greeting [3]). Allegro - 0:51
  Meno mosso - Tempo I  
37 31 Ujévköszöntö (4) (New Year's Greeting [4]). Allegro non troppo 0:41
38 32 Máramarosi tánc (Dance from Máramaros). Allegro giocoso 0:43
39 33 Aratáskor (Harvest Song). Lento - Più mosso, parlando - 1:31
40 34 Számláló nóta (Enumerating Song). Allegramente 0:57
41 35 Rutén kolomejka (Ruthenian kolomeika). Allegro - 1:03
  Meno mosso - Tempo I  
42 36 Szól a duda (Bagpipes). Allegro molto 0:55
43 A 36. sz. változata (Variant of No. 36). Allegro molto 1:05
  Book IV  
44 37 Preludium és kánon (Prelude and Canon). Lento - 2:40
  Un poco più lento - Molto tranquillo - Risoluto, non troppo vivace -  
45 38 Forgatós (Rumanian Whirling Dance). Allegro 0:42
46 39 Szerb tánc (Serbian Dance). Allegro molto 0:49
47 40 Oláh tánc (Walachian Dance). Comodo - Più lento - 0:49
  Tempo I - Più mosso  
48 41 Scherzo. Vivace 0:51
49 42 Arab dal (Arabian Song). Allegro 1:16
50 43 Pizzicato. Allegretto 1:13
51 44 'Erdélyi' tánc (Transylvanian Dance). Allegro moderato - 1:51
  Più moderato  
 Amy Schwartz Moretti violin
  TT 68:33      
 James Ehnes violin
  3 June 2012 (Sonatina) & 18 and 19 June 2013 (other works)  

James Ehnes presents his third album of chamber works by Bartók. The previous volumes have, along with his outstanding concerto disc, established his formidable reputation as a Bartók interpreter. Here Ehnes is joined by the pianist Andrew Armstrong, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Michael Collins, one of the world’s leading clarinettists.

The Sonatina, originally composed in 1915 for piano, was based on melodies which Bartók had collected during expeditions in Transylvania. The transcription for violin and piano heard here was produced ten years later by a young student of Bartók’s, Endre Gertler.

Bartók composed Contrasts in 1938 for the jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman and violinist Joseph Szigeti, who originally had requested a work in two movements, each with a cadenza for one of the featured instruments. Fulfilling this request, Bartók added a central slow movement, entitled ‘PihenÅ‘’ (Relaxation). The opening movement, ‘Verbunkos’, alludes to a march-like Hungarian military recruiting dance. The finale, entitled ‘Sebes’ (Quick), is a lively romp at the heart of which lies an unexpected episode of haunting calmness.

Besides writing for such outstanding musicians as Szigeti and Goodman, Bartók composed a lot of music for students, including the Forty-four Duos for two violins recorded here. These short pieces take material from a remarkably wide array of folk traditions and interlink the styles and culture of diverse peoples.

                                 **** - Excellent disc                             **** Exceptional Sound

Stéphane Friédérich - Classica magazine (France) - March 2015

                    Fitting end to feisty Canadian fiddler’s landmark series.”

“… For the Forty-Four Duos – Bite-sized colourful slices of folk music from the Balkans – Ehnes is joined by Amy Schwartz Moretti. Few of these pieces last a minute, except for the lovely prelude and canon. Some tunes will be familiar in other settings but played by two duelling violins they make for a spicy and entertaining 48 minutes. It’s so easy to say someone’s the new this or that, but perhaps comparing Ehnes to Heifetz, as one American critic has, is not wide of the mark.”
Steve Moffatt – – 20 February 2015

 “… Ehne’s playing in Contrasts is tonally dark and very nuanced and suits the music beautifully. Michael Collins plays the clarinet part again as he did in the wonderful recording he made with Martha Argerich. The Sonatina is a tuneful, exhibitionist work designed to please the gallery, and Ehnes and his pianist Andrew Armstrong pull out all the stops and certainly please me."

Joseph Magil – American Record Guide – November/December 2014

“…In these performances, slower pieces are exceptionally thoughtful, faster ones played with great aplomb. For once, it is a pleasure to listen to the entire set (48 minutes) without a break … For the general listener, I can’t imagine a better choice for the duos…”

James H North – Fanfare – November/December 2014   

“James Ehnes continues to dazzle in his Bartók series… The recorded sound is full, with excellent balance.”

Tim Holmfray – The Strad magazine  -September 2014 

"...the performances here are absolutely immaculate ... The recorded sound is absolutely excellent – what a lovely acoustic Potton Hall has."

Paul Corfield Godfrey - - 27 August 2014


 “… Ehnes and Moretti possess precisely the degree of finesse required to bring both piquancy and a sense of stylish panache to the music here. Their 44 duos are presented on this release along with a performance of the succinct Sonatina and also the dazzling “Contrasts” that Bartok wrote for Benny Goodman and Joseph Szigeti, pungently played by Ehnes, Michael Collins and Andrew Armstrong.”   ****

Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 14 June 2014

“…The trick in performing all these pieces well is one of balance, making sure that the duetting element is respected down to even the tiniest detail. James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti are fully the equal of even their most illustrious rivals, their playing varied and characterful enough to make listening to any of the four books of Duos at a single sitting a real pleasure.  A  lovely programme.”

Rob Cowan – Gramophone magazine – August 2014


“…An exemplary account, then. Of a major work for its medium … warmly recommended for insights into a composer whose stature only increases over time.”

Richard Whitehouse – International Record Review – July/August 2

                     Performance *****          Recording *****

“Although Bartók’s 44 Duos for two violins may have initially been conceived as a sequence of teaching pieces, such is the quality of the musical invention in these unpretentious miniatures that they prove equally satisfying for both listeners and performers.  Certainly James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti make the best possible case for experiencing, the entire cycle in one whole sweep. They maximise the amount of colour that can be squeezed out of the simplest two-part writing and sustain vibrant musical dialogue throughout. More importantly, both artists manage to encapsulate an  amazing variety of moods…  such is the brilliance and sensitivity of the playing that I hope these performers can be coaxed back into the studio to record other 20th-century works for this particular instrumental combination, such as Berg’s Adagio or Khachaturian’s Trio”

Erik Levi – BBC Music magazine  - August 2014

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