- Polyptyque: 6 images de la Passion du Christ, for violin & 2 string orchestras
- Passacaille, version for string orchestra
- Harpsichord Concerto
The works of Swiss composer Frank Martin don't rely on dramatic flash; they tend to seductively beguile with their profoundly intelligent sensuality. While they may never be hits on a pops concert, they reward attentive listening with their deep feeling and insight, given voice in a distinctly personal and expressive language. "Polyptyque," one of the composer's final works, a concerto for violin and two small string orchestras, is made up of six images from the life of Christ, from Palm Sunday to the Ascension. The composer writes that the movements evoke his own feelings in response to the various scenes, but the piece is also fully successful in its inventiveness, variety, and lyrical eloquence, even considered apart from its Messiaen-like program. Martin originally wrote "Passacaille for organ," but later made arrangements for full orchestra and string orchestra. The string orchestra version heard here is elegant and refined, managing to transcend the foursquare quality that can sometimes bedevil passacaglias. Rudolf Scheidegger is the soloist in the delicate and sparkling "Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra." Jac van Steen conducts Musikkollegium Winterthur in nuanced, but somewhat reserved performances, and violinist Willi Zimmermann radiantly plays "Polyptyque." The sound of MDG's SACD is open and natural, with excellent clarity and separation.