Martinu’s Rhapsody Concerto with the Isis Chamber Orchestra

Martinu Rhapsody Concerto
Bruch Romance

Diana Mathews – viola
Isis Chamber Orchestra
Conductor – Paul Cox

St Michael and All Angels, Summertown, Oxfordshire.

Martinu (1890-1959) wrote the Rhapsody Concerto for viola and orchestra in 1952. Always a quick worker, Martinu completed this concerto in only just over a month. It was written while he was in the United States, where he had emigrated in 1941 because of the German invasion of France, and it clearly conveys, by his use of folk song, his home-sickness for Czechoslovakia. This concerto is his first journey into the world of the ‘fantasy’. It has spontaneity and expressiveness, seemingly endless melodies, and wonderful alternations between major and minor which come straight from Moravian folk music.