Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Rudolph Barshai, Moscow Chamber Ensemble
"Bartok: Divertimento for Strings" (Vinyl)

This has a particularly boring album cover.  It can't even snap a decent shot in Photo Booth!

Bartok's 'Divertimento' for strings is one of the most fun works to perform with a strings-only ensemble.  Gratefully, talented composers pull out some of their most fun, memorable music for the ensemble and we have been given Mozart's Divertimenti, Holst's Holberg Suite, Britten's Simple Symphony and many more.  While none of these pieces are particularly monumental they are all works that musicians are grateful for the chance to perform.

Bartok wrote this piece in 1939 while living in Switzerland and trying to decide whether he would leave Europe under the impending shadow of World War II.  The work is surprisingly light-hearted for such troubled times.

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