Records like this are the reason I upgraded my player. Violin is one of the most difficult of instruments to reproduce electronically. The sound of the violin sounds shrill and flat if it is not done correctly. I’m glad to hear that it indeed is a lot better than I remember. This is a beautiful recording now, and it wasn’t before.
Bartók wrote both rhapsodies in 1928, without commission. He wrote them as a present for two befriended violinists, Joseph Szigeti and Zoltán Székeley and let the last one choose which he liked. Szigeti got the other.
These are works full of folk melodies. Bartók made field recordings (some of those are still in existence) and created many works on that basis. He wanted to bring the voice of the Eastern-European fiddle to the west.