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Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra, Etc / Reiner, Chicago So


Release Date: 08/10/1993 
Label:  Rca Victor Living Stereo Catalog #: 61504   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra. Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. Hungarian Sketches Fritz Reiner, cond; Chicago SO RCA 61504 (76:21)


The liner-note hype for the original LP release of the Concerto for Orchestra, transferred over to the initial CD release, was that Reiner was the conductor “preordained” to conduct Bartók’s late masterpiece. This was because, as a fellow Hungarian he remembered from Read more the old country, Bartók trusted the draconian Reiner, who recommended him to Serge Koussevitzky to commission the work. But it was Koussevitzky who conducted the world premiere, not Reiner; and in fact, Reiner had not been much of a champion of Bartók during the 1940s anyway. He didn’t even conduct the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta until the mid 1950s, shortly before this recording was made.


All of which, you may be thinking, scarcely “predisposes” Reiner as an interpreter of these scores. Yet somehow, perhaps through guilt or osmosis, Reiner gets deep into the grooves and crevices of this music in a way that no one else, not even fellow Hungarian Georg Solti, was able to do. I am not a wholesale fan of Reiner. Too often, in standard repertoire, his tempos were oddly slower than written and, more important, his phrasing could be lumpy and graceless. In a very real sense, this was partly the result of a cold heart and overbearing personality that made the dreaded Arturo Toscanini look like Simon Rattle. But this is one of Reiner’s great gems, and one should—at least for the duration of this disc—overlook his cold cruelty in favor of what he accomplishes here. In the hands of the Chicago Symphony, the music practically plays itself. It sounds as if it arises from an impetus of rhythm and harmony from deep within the core of the players, proceeds with both a forward momentum and a clarity of texture almost incredible for its time (particularly the latter … this is almost Rodzinski-like or Toscanini-like in its lucid textures), and continues on its journey until the music has said all it is capable of saying.


Moreover, unlike in other fillers on other Reiner albums, he achieves the same miraculous fusion of lyricism and tension on all three works. There is not a single moment of let-down on this CD, and many times during the course of the music you catch your breath hearing subtleties and intricacies of the score that pass unnoticed in others’ recordings. The trademark term “Living Stereo” was never more aptly applied to any of RCA’s discs as well as to this one.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/22/1955 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 37 Minutes 19 Secs. 
2.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 12/1958 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 27 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3.
Hungarian Sketches (5), Sz 97 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 12/1958 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 10 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Introduzione: Andante non troppo; Allegro vivace
Giuoco delle coppie: Allegretto scherzando
Elegia: Andante non troppo
Intermezzo interroto: Allegretto
Finale: Pesante; Presto
Andante tranquillo
Allegro
Adagio
Allegro molto
An Evening in the Village
Bear Dance
Melody
Slighty Tipsy
Swineherd's Dance

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 BASIC BARTOK December 3, 2013 By David W. (Palm Springs, CA) See All My Reviews "There are many good performances of Bartok's popular Concerto for Orchestra available, but none better than Reiner's celebreted recording with the Chicago. And, thanks to the original technology and meticulous remastering, it still blows the competition out the door." Report Abuse
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