Sunday, May 05, 2013

Stephen Bishop, Colin Davis
"Bartok: Piano Concerto no. 2" (Vinyl)

Released in 1968 (I believe) this features a young Stephen Bishop (perhaps only 28 at the time of the recording) at home with Sir Colin Davis and one of the British orchestras that welcomed Mr. Bishop with open arms.
Stephen Bishop has fallen out of household use lately; I'm not sure this isn't the first time I've encountered his playing.

Bartok wrote his second piano concerto for his wife to perform.  It was completed in 1931 and has been regarded as amongst the hardest works in the repertoire. A 'simplification' of Bartok's compositional style, he intended for the work to be more accessible than his first piano concerto.

The album cover of this Philips record is indicative of the attitude and thinking towards "modern" music at the time. Colors are prismatic and there is a great deal of fractured line and angle.  To embrace Bartok's music (even in the 1960's, some 30-40 years after its composition) was to think forward to the future.

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