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Bartók: Concerto For Orchestra, Kossuth / Blomstedt, Et Al


Release Date: 10/31/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 443773   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The standout item in this release is Bartók's early symphonic poem Kossuth, partly because of its relative rarity on discs, but also for the opportunity it provides to hear the composer's nascent style, which was heavily influenced by Richard Strauss. (Bartók composed the piece in the wake of experiencing Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra). It's chock-full of Straussian (and by derivation Lisztian) dramatic utterances, but Bartók's own voice can be discerned in his already distinctive orchestral palette. Early work or not, Herbert Blomstedt brings his full artistic commitment to this music, which he realizes beautifully with the aid of virtuoso playing by the San Francisco Symphony.

With the Concerto for
Read more Orchestra the San Francisco musicians are of course on more familiar territory. Yet, while they do not exude the same sense of discovery as in Kossuth, there's nothing routine about their performance, which is brilliant and polished throughout. Blomstedt has fresh ideas about the music that serve to enhance its effect rather than draw attention to themselves. Continuous flow is his main interpretive stance, and the music emerges organically, with each section transitioning fluidly into the next. The first movement has none of the start-stop quality found in other performances, and in this same vein the Elegia makes its terse argument without becoming quasi-operatic. Even with all of this first-rate music-making, it's the sound of the orchestra (well reproduced by Decca's vivid, high-impact recording) that gives the most pleasure. A unique release--if you missed it the first time around, Arkivmusic.com's on-demand service gives you another chance.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco 
Length: 36 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2. Kossuth, Sz 21 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco 
Length: 22 Minutes 12 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Sonic Delight! September 13, 2012 By W. Brown (Centerburg, OH) See All My Reviews "Unfortunately, this cd has been deleted from the catalog, but thanks to Arkive music for re-issuing it per on demand. The sonics are spectacular and Blomstedt has a real sense for Bartok. The Concerto for Orchestra is a sheer delight. I just love the 4th movement of the Concerto with some great bassoon playing. Decca's engineers have done it again with superior recording techiniques. Add this one to your collection- hats off to Arkive music!! Recommended." Report Abuse
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