Ivry Gitlis Performing the Violin Solo Sonata by Bela Bartok

This video shows Ivry Gitlis, a phenomenal violin player, performing Bela Bartok’s sonata for solo violin. Many people can’t afford this piece (and some more of the compositions written by Bela Bartok) and even think that the violin player is playing out of tune. This happens because this sonata for violin includes microtonalities which means that the composer’s material is not limited to the well known twelve tones of the tempered piano tuning but also include more tones in between the standard twelve notes. Here the space between one note and the following one on the piano is subdivided into more subtle intervals. Naturally this kind of tune cannot be played on an accoustic piano while some synthesizers and keyboards do have a ‘bend wheel’ which would allow to play this piece.
Bela Bartok can be regarded as the most important hungarian composer and has an extensive oevre with compositions for many kinds of symphonic and chamber orchestras as well as for solo instruments. He also put special emphasis on the percussion instruments. His works for piano Microcosmos and Macrocosmos are mandatory repertoire for the beginning and advanced classical piano performer. In these and other compositions Bela Bartok recovers many hungarian, romanian and other folk tunes, treating and integrating them into the concert music repertoire.

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The Berliner Philharmoniker Performing the Polovtsian Dances of the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin

In this video the Berliner Philharmoniker under japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa perform the Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor by russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887).
It should be said the Alexander Borodin was not a full time composer, instead he had different occupations, among them he had a degree as a medical doctor and was a remarkable chemist, so he did composing in his spare time. He regarded himself as a ‘sunday composer’.
This video clip is an example for excellent camera work since the camera always focusses on the musician or orchestra section that is playing the prominent part of the piece at a given moment. I wish all concert music video presentations were prepared and carried out with such a dedication. Unfortunately there are so many examples of orchestras being televised where the camera focusses on the bass section while the motif or most prominent part is played by the trumpets, to give an example.
When Alexander Borodin suddenly died in the midst of a ball, the opera Prince Igor was left unconcluded and was later finished by two other russian composers: Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov. Alexander Borodin’s music has beautifull melodies and is clearly russian. Another important composition of Alexander Borodin is In the Steppes (Prairies) of Central Asia which also denotes a strong lyricism.