- Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Sz. 112, BB 117
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63
Continuing his series on Canary Classics of the great violin concertos composed in the 1930s, Gil Shaham explores this highly productive decade with a combination of curatorial clarity and artistic passion. While the period was turbulent, due to the Great Depression and the unstable political situation worldwide, composers responded to the times with confident and powerful works that gave voice to their anxieties and aspirations. For the second volume of his project, Shaham presents Sergey Prokofiev's "Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63," and Béla Bartók's "Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, BB 117," a satisfying pairing that is easier to appreciate than the program of five concertos on the first volume, released in 2014. Joined in the Prokofiev by The Knights, under Eric Jacobsen, and by Stéphane Denève and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Bartók, Shaham demonstrates great sympathy for the composers and intense involvement with their characteristic styles. Prokofiev's sardonic wit and Bartók's eerie "night music" are perhaps their most recognizable characteristics, though Shaham brings across the full range of expressions and moods that give these concertos their depth and brilliance. Listeners who enjoy this disc can look forward to Shaham's recordings of concertos by Bloch, Hindemith, Martinu, Schoenberg, Szymanowski, and Walton, which are expected to round out the series.