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Solti Conducts Bartok

Solti,Georg
Release Date: 10/16/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001746002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla BartókLeó WeinerZoltán Kodály
Performer:  Alexandru AgacheTamás DaróczyVladimir AshkenazyKyung-Wha Chung,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony OrchestraChicago Symphony Orchestra StringsHungarian Radio/TV Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 6 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Dance Suite, Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
The most breathtaking passage for demonstration in this brilliant account of the Concerto for Orchestra comes at the beginning of the coda in the finale...You might feel that for realism it makes itself too apparent, but it is a sound such as I have never heard reproduced before through loudspeakers...As for the performances they may not have quite the sparkle and point which marked those which Solti recorded with the LSO in a similar coupling 16 years earlier, but they have an authentic Hungarian bite and point which alongside Chicago virtuosity is unbeatable. Read more />
-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [3/1983]

Romanian folkdances, Weiner: Prinz Csongor und die Kobolde Suite
"Sir Georg's empathy for this idiom is everywhere in evidence, and never more so than in Bartok's Romanian folkdances, where lightness of touch and sensitive rubato recreate a crucial feeling of improvisation. The Hungarian Sketches are tellingly pointed, with fluid lines in ''Evening in the Village'' and ''Melody'', a hilarious ff trombone/tuba belch in ''A Little Tipsy'' and cleanly differentiated percussion in the ''Bear Dance''. Here one might also recall Reiner's more explosive option, whereas in Dorati's roughly contemporaneous Minneapolis recording, snare and tenor drum are virtually inaudible. Solti's is now perhaps the current front-runner, and makes for a most entertaining musical diversion. Nice too to hear music by the much underrated Leo Weiner, his Csongor es Tunde ballet with its subtle reminiscences of Nicolai's Merry Wives of Windsor Overture and Liszt's Dante Symphony. The busy scherzo is the sort of thing Bartok might have composed had he not outgrown the worlds of Strauss and Dohnanyi, while the Introduction is reminiscent of Kodaly in pastoral vein."

-- Gramophone [1/1995] Cantata profana, Weiner: Serenade
"It is apt, if ironic, that these very last recordings of Sir Georg Solti, product of sessions in Budapest last June, three months before his sudden death, should make up the perfect valedictory disc. Ironically too, these were his very first recordings made in his native Hungary with Hungarian musicians...Solti came to feel that the story of Bartok’s Cantata profana – about nine sons turned by magic into stags, who finally return home – symbolized his own life-story. The chorus, as I say, sing superbly, with the Romanian baritone, Alexander Agache, a strong and dark soloist.

The rarity here is the Serenade of Leo Weiner, the teacher closest to Solti in his student days, one who both challenged him and drew him out. The amiability of this music, far less individual, less specifically Hungarian than that of Bartok or Kodaly, seems to reflect Weiner’s character as Solti’s mentor. Beautifully written in four cleanly constructed movements, this is a delightful piece full of fresh, crisply conceived ideas, as in the easygoing sonata-form first movement. The warmly responsive woodwind soloists of the Budapest Festival Orchestra come into their own in the interlude of the third movement with its sequence of solos getting faster, in turn for clarinet, bassoon, oboe and flute. Solti could never have conceived a more winning last offering on disc."

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [6/1998]

Bluebeard's Castle
"Solti has sometimes been charged with giving the orchestra its head at the singers' expense; and in the present work (as in much Wagner) the orchestral part is admittedly of primary interest. Yet the orchestra is not presented over-brightly—if anything the reverse, going for warm blend rather than highlighted coloration, in something akin to the way that Soli seems to be stressing continuity (at times by adopting slightly faster tempi than usual) rather than particular moments of dramatic intensity. Sylvia Sass is an attractive singer, especially in pianissimo and lyrical passages: though not making as much of key words as Ludwig (Kertesz/Decca) or Varady (DG), she conveys very well Judith's progression from soft loving tenderness to almost shrill terror as she realizes the significance of the bloodstains everywhere. She has a Bluebeard who, while having the necessary range for the part, is (like many singers from that part of the world) not always very steadily focused, and whose singing contains a curiously lachrymose quality. The eerie sighs from the castle as Judith starts to unlock the doors are most imaginatively produced."

-- L.S., Gramophone [8/1980]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
2.
Dance Suite for Orchestra, Sz 77 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Budapest, Hungary 
3.
Hungarian Sketches (5), Sz 97 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Budapest, Hungary 
4.
Romanian Folkdances for String Orchestra, Sz 68 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Budapest, Hungary 
5.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 
6.
Divertimento for String Orchestra, Sz 113 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra Strings
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Budapest, Hungary 
7.
Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19/Sz 73: Suite by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1927; Budapest, Hungary 
8.
Cantata Profana, Sz 94 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Alexandru Agache (Baritone), Tamás Daróczy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Radio/TV Chorus,  Budapest Festival Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Italian Institute, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 18 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Hungarian 
9.
Concerto for Piano no 1, Sz 83 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Budapest, Hungary 
10.
Concerto for Piano no 2, Sz 95 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1931; Budapest, Hungary 
11.
Concerto for Piano no 3, Sz 119 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 
12.
Concerto for Violin no 1, Sz 36 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; Budapest, Hungary 
13.
Concerto for Violin no 2, Sz 112 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; Budapest, Hungary 
14.
Bluebeard's Castle, Op. 11/Sz 48 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Istvan Sztankay (Spoken Vocals), Sylvia Sass (Soprano), Kolos Kováts (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911/1918; Budapest, Hungary 
15.
Serenade in F minor, Op. 3 by Leó Weiner
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Italian Institute, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 19 Minutes 58 Secs. 
16.
Dances of Galánta by Zoltán Kodály
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 11/1952 
17.
Variations on a Hungarian folksong "The Peacock" by Zoltán Kodály
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1939; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 4/1954 
18.
Háry János, Op. 15: Suite by Zoltán Kodály
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 2/1955 
19.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 
20.
Dance Suite for Orchestra, Sz 77 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Budapest, Hungary 
21.
Psalmus hungaricus, Op. 13 by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  William Mcalpine (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Hungary 
22.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 
23.
Dance Suite for Orchestra, Sz 77 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Budapest, Hungary 
24.
Prinz Csongor und die Kobolde Suite, Op. 10b: Scherzo by Leó Weiner
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1927; Hungary 

Sound Samples

Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 1. Introduzione (Andante non troppo - Allegro vivace
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 2. Giuoco della coppie (Allegretto scherzando)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 3. Elegia (Andante, non troppo)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 4. Intermezzo interrotto (Allegretto)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 5. Finale (Pesante - Presto)
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 1. Moderato
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 5. Comodo
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 6. Finale (Allegro)
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106: 1. Andante tranquillo
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106: 2. Allegro
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106: 3. Adagio
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106: 4. Allegro molto
The Miraculous Mandarin, BB 82, Sz. 73 (Op.19) - Suite
Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113: 1. Allegro non troppo
Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113: 2. Molto adagio
Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113: 3. Allegro assai
Hungarian Sketches, Sz. 97: 1. An Evening in the Village
Hungarian Sketches, Sz. 97: 2. Bear Melody
Hungarian Sketches, Sz. 97: 3. Melody
Hungarian Sketches, Sz. 97: 4. Slightly Tipsy
Hungarian Sketches, Sz. 97: 5. Swineherd's Dance
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 1. Stick Dance (from Mezöszabad)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 2. Sash Dance (from Egres)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 3. In One Spot (from Egres)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 4. Horn Dance (from Bisztra)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 5. Roumanian Polka (from Belényes)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 6. Fast Dance (from Belényes)
Roumanian Folk Dances for Orchestra, Sz. 68: 7. Fast Dance (from Nyágra)
Cantata Profana, BB.100, Sz.94 - The Nine Splendid Stags: 1. Molto moderato
Cantata Profana, BB.100, Sz.94 - The Nine Splendid Stags: 2. Andante
Cantata Profana, BB.100, Sz.94 - The Nine Splendid Stags: 3. Moderato
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 2. Allegro molto
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 3. Allegro vivace
Dance Suite, Sz. 77: 4. Molto tranquillo

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