two works for violin and orchestra are linked by the violinist
Samuel Dushkin. If you know his name at all it is because he was
the dedicatee and first performer of Stravinsky's Violin Concerto.
However Dushkin was also a close friend of the Martinus. He it
was who commissioned the First Violin Concerto. Martinu
had the benefit of Dushkin's comments during the writing of the
work. However when delivered to Dushkin he was unhappy and the
score was returned for further changes. After these had been made
in 1934 Dushkin remained dissatisfied and chose not to premiere
the piece. The score disappeared from sight until Harry Halbreich
discovered it in 1968. It was premiered in Chicago by Josef Suk
withe Chicago Symphony conducted by Solti.
Suite Concertante in its 1945 version is in four
movements - Toccata, Aria, Scherzo and Rondo.
The work is spikily neo-classical, diluted hardly at all by this
being the 1945 revision rather than the 1939 original. While the
chaff and chatter of the Toccata is as expected there is
abundant yield of human emotion in the Aria and in the
Scherzo. Matousek has performed this second version of
the work with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra in Zlin
in September 1999. He gave the European premiere of the first
version with the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra under
Douglas Bostock at the Prague Spring Festival also in 1999. This
work is much closer to the baroque chatter of the Concerto for
String Quartet and Orchestra than to the romantic dramatics of
the Second Violin Concerto.
the extremely short playing time of this disc it is a pity that
the first version of the Suite Concertante was not added to bring
the disc up to circa 70 minutes. It would have made a difference.
busily neo-classical works - not exa ctly emotionally stunted
but often stilted in matters of the heart while at the same time
being fluent in invention. Well performed and recorded.