Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
- I. Allegro non troppo (22:12)
- II. Adagio (08:27)
- III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco più presto (08:01)
Violin Concerto No. 1, Sz. 36, BB 48a
Pairing the "Violin Concerto in D major" of Johannes Brahms with the "Violin Concerto No. 1" of Béla Bartók may be odd, and it may well be unique to this 2016 Decca release, but violin virtuoso Janine Jansen and conductor Antonio Pappano find links between the two works in their sources of inspiration. Indeed, Brahms wrote his only violin concerto with the assistance of his friend, the great Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim, and a young Bartók composed his concerto for the object of his unrequited love, Hungarian violinist Steffi Geyer, while elements from Hungarian music inform both works. Even so, Brahms' soaring lyricism and Bartók's brooding reflections seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, though there is less of a stylistic conflict between these works than one of mood. Jansen's consistent technical brilliance and the warm support provided by the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in the live recording of the Brahms, and the London Symphony Orchestra in the studio setting of the Bartók, go far to give this album a unity that is deeper than the obvious stylistic differences, and hearing Jansen play these concertos thoughtfully and with sensitivity may win listeners over to the unusual program.