A pianist himself, Bartók imbued his three concertos with multiple aspects of his compositional persona, ranging from complex and innovative (the First) to exuberant (the Second) and serene (the Third). The result is a fascinating slice of his musical life. This all-Bartók release marks the first Pentatone collaboration between Esa-Pekka Salonen and San Francisco Symphony, an ensemble he has reshaped through creative performance concepts and expansive new media projects.
“For me, Bartók’s piano concertos are among the most demanding in the repertoire, due to their combination of instrumental challenge and musical significance. Their intensity is incandescent.”
A renowned champion of twentieth-century music, Pierre-Laurent Aimard has released multiple acclaimed albums in his exclusive contract with Pentatone, including Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (2018) and Visions de l’Amen (2022), along with Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata & Eroica Variations (2021). He also joined Tamara Stefanovich in Etudes and Frames (2023), with music by Vassos Nicolaou. Salonen returns to the label for the first time since his recording of Stravinsky’s Perséphone (2018); San Francisco Symphony previously appeared on the 2005 Pentatone release Young America.
The album will be available digitally on 15 September, with the physical release set for September.