Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gertler and Farnadi Play Bartok Sonatas 1 and 2

These recordings of the Bartok sonatas by André Gertler and Edith Farnadi have long been among my favorites. Both musicians had full European careers and tended to be under-rated here in the States. Gertler, however, was one of the finest fiddlers of his generation, graced with an intensely focused intonation and indulging few histrionics, and Farnadi is a pianist to contend with. If, at the end of the day, Szigeti’s idiosyncratic fingering and bow technique are often more convincing to me, I am not immune to the charms of Gertler’s more straight-forward artistry. And in soft, quiet passages with significant bow movement, where Szigeti could sound scratchy as early as the nineteen forties, Gertler maintains a steady bow and an impressive clarity of tone as evidenced in the recordings presented here. I cannot recommend too highly this long unavailable recording of these two incredibly beautiful sonatas of Bartok.



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  2. La Danse de Puck said...
    I also made a transfer of this LP, different cover, and these are my favourite amongst the recordings of the Bartók Sonatas. I don't have them online to leave you links but will download yours just for comparison's sake and see what you have done in technical terms. I see you have the Kolisch Quartet doing Bartók,too. I have live links to the transfers made by Bernard Unger for the label ARCHIPHON for the boxes he released on CD and also links to the Music&Arts big box. They are up at AVAX, if you know the place. Otherwise drop me a line and I will send you links. Notes on those sets are incredible. The Schoenberg ones have Rudolf Kolisch's treaty on music making. There are also notes by Schoenberg himself on his thoughts. I love your site!
    April 27, 2010 1:16 PM

  3. La Danse de Puck: Thanks for your kind words. These are my favorite recordings of the Bartok sonatas too. My posting of the Kolisch Quartet premiere of Bartok's 5th String Quartet is pretty rough, but I've been told it isn't much worse than the M&A transfer, which I haven't yet heard.

  4. Magnificent. And a nice sounding transfer. Thanks hugely.