The coupling is smart, the performances amazing in their precision, clarity, and point. Here is yet another disc heedlessly spewed onto the market by Polyversal in the 1990s, only to be non-promoted and quickly deleted. Thank God it’s still available used, or from Arkivmusic.com as an “on demand” reissue.
Dohnányi and Cleveland were unrivaled in contemporary repertoire; the music played to both the ensemble’s and the conductor’s strengths. Even in the Bartók, which has been recorded to death, you will be hard pressed to find a more convincing performance–one, moreover, that is full of personality and character. This is true not just of the “game of pairs” second movement, but also in the slower than usual butRead more very funny and rhythmic “interruption” in the fourth movement. With a driving first movement and breathtakingly articulated finale, not to mention a tense central Elegy, this is one stunning performance.
The same qualities apply to the Lutoslawski. This remains its finest version on disc. Not only does the playing have virtuosity to burn, but never have those big, fat climaxes in the outer movements had such power but at the same time such remarkable textural transparency. Nor has the scherzo often been played with such careful attention to dynamics or rhythmic crispness. Really, this is one of those performances that spoils you: after hearing it, nothing else sounds quite as good. The engineering is a touch low-level, so just give it a boost and it will sound wonderful. I know, you probably already own multiple versions of both of these works, and somehow this disc never comes up in discussions of reference recordings; but it ought to, just as you ought to own it.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116by Béla Bartók Conductor:
Christoph von Dohnányi
Period: 20th Century Written: 1943; USA Date of Recording: 08/1988 Venue: Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio Length: 37 Minutes 42 Secs.
Concerto for Orchestraby Witold Lutoslawski Conductor:
Christoph von Dohnányi
Period: 20th Century Written: 1954; Poland Date of Recording: 03/1989 Venue: Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio Length: 17 Minutes 25 Secs.
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)
Concerto for Orchestra: 1. Intrada: Allegro Maestoso
Concerto for Orchestra: 2. Capriccio notturno e Arioso: Vivace - Stesso movi- mento
Concerto for Orchestra: 3. Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale: Andante con moto - Allegro giusto - Molto allegro - Presto
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