Isabelle Faust's first recording for harmonia mundi, Bartok Sonatas, won her a Gramophone Young Artist of the Year.
Here she returns to Bartok, perfoming the two concertos, accompanied by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio SO.
Such is the fame of Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto (1937-38), that it has virtually eclipsed the First, written 30 years before. Yet, this earlier work, rediscovered long after the composer’s death, has a fascinating story all of its own. True to form, Isabelle Faust has gone back to the multiple musical sources of this First Concerto, a work that came ‘straight from the heart’, as Bartók’s romance with a young violinist lay at the core of its creative process.
"I owe my enthusiasm for the music of Béla Bartók to the wonderful Hungarian violinist Dénes Zsigmondy, who was privileged to know the composer personally. At the age of eleven, I was lucky enough to study the Sonata for solo violin with him and thus to discover Bartók’s world in a very emotional and instinctive way. In the years since then, Dénes Zsigmondy, his conception of music, and especially his interpretation of Bartók have formed an important component of my artistic career. It seemed only logical to choose the Bartók sonatas for my debut CD. I am now delighted to present the two violin concertos in this recording. It is intended as a musical expression of my admiration for the composer Béla Bartók and my gratitude for the continued inspiration and faithful friendship of Dénes Zsigmondy. My warm thanks go to László Somfai and László Vikárius of the Bartók Archives in Budapest and to Felix Meyer of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel for their generous support of this project. Finally, I would like to express my profound appreciation of and indebtedness to Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra for their absolutely fantastic contribution to the recording sessions." Isabelle Faust