WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra, Etc / Mariss Jansons, Et Al


Release Date: 05/04/2004 
Label:  Emi Classics Encore Catalog #: 75620   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I know we shouldn’t take these things too literally, but when I asked myself if this 1990 reissue on EMI Classics was, indeed, a “classic,” I had to answer in the negative. It is, however, a very good disc, and a nice bargain at its budget price. The problem is that it has stiff competition. While there are lots of equally fine versions on the market, Fritz Reiner’s RCA recording of these two scores with the Chicago Symphony is a classic, and deserves to be in every collection. Of course, collectors enjoy having alternative performances, and Jansons’s performance of the Concerto for Orchestra especially has much to recommend itself.

Reiner’s interpretations of Bartók were so convincing because he (aided in no small
Read more part by the virtuosity of the CSO, circa 1955–58) controlled every detail so thoroughly—finely gauged tempos, brilliant orchestral colors, and well-constructed dramatic events—making the music sound inevitable. Naturally, Jansons’s approach differs in some key ways—for example, in the concerto his internal tempo shifts are slightly more exaggerated, favoring marginally slower episodes which clarify textures and reveal important instrumental details that are frequently buried, like those of the harp, but at the same time lack the rhythmic snap Reiner generates throughout, most noticeably in the finale. While not particularly damaging in the concerto, this effects the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta more so, where Jansons’s measured phrasing betrays the differences in tonal qualities between the CSO and the Oslo-ers, who cannot match the punch of the CSO horns or the fullness of their strings. Jansons makes a good case for both works, but Reiner reigns supreme. Still, for an alternative point of view, and at this price, you could do worse.

-- Art Lange, Fanfare
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
2.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 

Sound Samples

Concerto for Orchestra Sz116: I. Introduzione (Andante non troppo - Allegro vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116: II. Gluoco delle coppie (Allegretto scherzando)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116: III. Elegia (Andante non troppo)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116: IV. Intermezzo interrotto (Allegretto)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116: V. Finale (Pesante - Presto)
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Sz106: I. Andante tranquillo
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Sz106: II. Allegro
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Sz106: III. Adagio
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Sz106: IV. Allegro molto

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In