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Bartok: The Wooden Prince; Hungarian Pictures; The Miraculous Mandarin; Concerto for Orchestra / Jarvi

Bartok / Royal Scottish National Orch
Release Date: 07/29/2014 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 24152   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National OrchestraLondon VoicesPhilharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This ‘2-for-1’ reissue brings together the best performances by Neeme Järvi of the music by Bartók, taken from his extraordinarily prolific recording career with Chandos Records. The four works span Bartók's career and include some of the greatest music he ever wrote.

The Concerto for Orchestra has remained one of Bartók’s most popular orchestral works since its triumphant premiere in 1944. Its title signals that each section of instruments is treated in a soloistic and virtuoso way. According to Bartók himself, ‘the general mood of the work represents, apart from the jesting second movement, a gradual transition from the sternness of the first movement and the lugubrious death-song of the
Read more third, to the life-assertion of the last one’.

The ballet The Miraculous Mandarin is heard here in its complete form. Set in a seedy urban underworld, it tells the tale of a prostitute, the three thugs that control her, and their mysterious encounter with the eponymous Mandarin. In portraying this scenario Bartók creates an astonishingly vivid score with some of the most colourful music he ever wrote.

The Wooden Prince, an earlier ballet, could not on the surface be further from The Miraculous Mandarin. Lacking its daring modernism, it instead shows the influence of Debussy, Strauss, and Wagner. However, its outwardly sunny character obscures a strange and surreal undertone.

The Hungarian Pictures are skilful and imaginative orchestrations made in 1931 of five earlier piano pieces. Each with its own distinct character, these pieces give the impression of being an authentic folksong arrangement, although this is true only of the last of the five. - Chandos Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
2.
Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19/Sz 73 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Voices,  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1919; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 10/1990 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 34 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3.
Wooden Prince, Op. 13/Sz 60 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; Budapest, Hungary 
4.
Hungarian Sketches (5), Sz 97 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Budapest, Hungary 

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