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“In 2013, the Buffalo Philharmonic undertook a fascinating project for Naxos – an illuminating exploration of the music of the young Béla Bartók. The orchestra was largely unfamiliar with Bartók's early works, and the project was a revelation of the artistry and the character of the young composer. The experience immensely enriched and inspired us with music that was unexpected, romantic and deeply rewarding.”

- JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Naxos 8.573307
BARTÓK, B.: Kossuth / 2 Portraits /
Orchestral Suite No. 1

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Falletta

All three of the works in this programme reveal a young composer on the threshold of greatness, serving as his passport to the vast new world of orchestral music prevailing at the beginning of the 20th century. Inspired by the tone poems of Richard Strauss, Bartók’s Kossuth dramatically commemorates the struggle for Hungarian independence in 1848 with an alluring and provocative orchestration. The Two Portraits set moods of love and painful heartbreak into stark contrast, while the First Suite is a showcase of symphonic effects which caused a sensation in Vienna at its première in 1905.

Listen to an extract from Bartók’s
Two Portraits, Op. 5, Sz.37 –
II. Grotesque: Presto

  Listen to JoAnn Falletta’s
podcast interview with Peter Hall:
The romantic Bartók

Watch the video trailer:

About the artists

JoAnn Falletta, acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation”, serves as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and principal guest conductor of the Brevard Music Center. She has guest conducted more than a hundred orchestras in North America and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

Michael Ludwig enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, recording artist and chamber musician. He has been hailed by The Strad magazine for his “effortless, envy-provoking technique… sweet tone, brilliant expression, and grand style.”

Founded in 1935, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of music director JoAnn Falletta, is Buffalo’s leading cultural ambassador and presents more than 120 Classics, Pops and Youth Concerts each year.

Companion discs

Symphony No. 3, "Il'ya Muromets"

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta

“This is an important recording for several reasons. First, it contains the finest version yet recorded of Glière’s epic Third Symphony,
“Il’ya Muromets.” Second, it defines once and for all how the piece is supposed to go.”

Symphony No. 2
Piano Sonata No. 2

Fabio Bidini
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falleta

“Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic deliver a
performance that is so committed and radiant that it ought to attract the attention of other music directors here and abroad.”
American Record Guide

NBD0041 [Blu-ray]
Symphony No. 3, "Il'ya Muromets"

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta

Falling Man
Movie House

London Symphony Orchestra
JoAnn Falleta
Roderick Williams, Baritone

“JoAnn Falletta leads the London Symphony Orchestra with sure-handedness and a clear comprehension of the music ...”

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Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group