Bartók: Dance Suite / Deux Portraits / Mikrokosmos (LP)
Philharmonia Hungarica Orchestra with Antal Dorati
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"…These are dramatic orchestral works that are sure to please both the music lover and the audiophile. Bartok may not be considered easy or accessible, but this disc suggests otherwise and is not to be missed." – Richard S. Foster, Hi-Fi+, Issue 51
Bartok composed his Dance Suite as the result of a commission from the city fathers of Budapest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the union of the two towns Pest and Buda. While on his travels, Bartok liked to collect old folksongs, and he used this opportunity to express the act of fraternity in his music in the manner of a hidden program. As he himself stated, he made use of Arabian, Hungarian and Romanian influences in the Suite, whose dances are linked together by means of ritornello-like interludes. Glossiness in order to achieve romantic tonal magnificence is uncalled for here. Dorati's conducting is oriented towards the archaic strength, and the dry and at times rustic nature of the Suite. He allows the orchestra to seethe, whistle and stamp, driven on by ever-changing rhythms which lend the work its impulsive urge. Together with the highly expressive Portraits, Op. 5 and the two excerpts from Mikrokosmos, originally composed for the piano and heard here in an arrangement for orchestra by Tibor Serly, this compilation offers an excellent insight into Bartok's musical thoughts and works. Mercury Living Presence
Original Master Re-issues on 180 gram vinyl.