Just released: New CD with Martinů Violin Concertos by Frank Peter Zimmerman, Jakub Hrůša and Bamberger Symphoniker

New CD with Violin Concertos by Martinů played by Frank Peter Zimmermann was just released by BIS Records. On the recording, Zimmermann is accompanied by Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberger Symphoniker. The disc closes with a central work in the twentieth-century literature for solo violin, Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin.

© Harald Hoffmann / Haenssler Classic

Concertos by Martinů are on Zimmermann’s repertoire for many years. He performed both of them for example with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Quite an interesting fact is that the Concerto No. 2 was on his repertoire earlier then the first one.

Zimmermann describes both the concertos in the November issue of The Strad. In the very technically demanding Concerto No. 1, which Martinů wrote in Paris, there is a lot of neo-classical elements and Zimmermann says that one can hear the influence by Stravinsky’s works. The concerto was written for Samuel Dushkin who also premiered Stravinsky’s famous Concerto in Ré. Zimmermann has a special memory of this concerto as he has heard it for the first time with Josef Suk as a soloist, Václav Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic when he was just 10 years old.

The Second Violin Concerto was written in and premiered in USA in 1943 and for Zimmermann, it is an evocation of the world the composer had left behind. ‘It’s so full of Romanticism,’ he says, ‘a bit like a 20th-century version of the Dvořák, with the same little cadenzas between the tutti statements in the first movement. There are touches of Bruch, and here or there a little Tchaikovsky. These concertos were Elman’s favourites, and Martinů’s singing lines would have been the perfect match for the famous sweetness of his sound.’, says Zimmermann.