Absolutely yummy! Brahms orchestrated only a handful of his ever-popular Hungarian Dances. His friend Dvorák did a few more, and the rest exist in a variety of versions by a variety of arrangers. Conductor Iván Fischer has undertaken this job himself in several cases, with really impressive results. His solos and cadenzas for traditional instruments (Gypsy fiddle and cimbalom) sound perfectly idiomatic and tasteful, and his conducting manages to put some of the paprika back into the music without ever making it sound vulgar or mannered. For example, in the most popular dance of them all, No. 5, Fischer's alternation of strings and winds gives the music the necessary freshness andRead more bounce while allowing the conductor to take a slower tempo than most. The result is at once warmer and more exotic than usual, with less of those "oompah" rhythms that can make playing a large batch of these pieces so monotonous. There isn't a dull moment anywhere here. The rich, well balanced sonics delight the ear as much as the music itself. There is no better version of these pieces currently available.
Hungarian Dances (21) for Orchestra, WoO 1by Johannes Brahms Performer:
József Lendvay Jr. (Violin),
József "Csócsi" Lendvay Sr. (Violin),
Oskar Ökrös (Cimbalom)
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1868-1880; Austria Date of Recording: 11/1998 Venue: Italian Institute, Budapest, Hungary Length: 56 Minutes 5 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 3 Customer Reviews )
A very good set of these 21 piecesOctober 9, 2014By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"These performances of the dances, orchetrated by Brahms, Dvotrak, and others, are well played to bring out their vigor and beauty. A small point is that the sound is a bit bass-heavy, and the decorative passwages for the winds, which add interest and variety to these pieces, often sound recessed behind the strings. However, everything is audible, and the prominent string playing is very good. An enjoyable disk."Report Abuse
Nice performance / mediocre sound qualityAugust 28, 2014By Richard B (Sedona, AZ)See All My Reviews"This is another example of a nice enough performance with poor recording quality that receives a 10/10 rating from Classics Today. Actually I have my doubts about the performance being worthy of a 10 rating, but since it's not my preferred genre I'll accept that. The more serious problem is the recording quality which I found to be muddy, muffled, indistinct, and distant. Honestly it should be rated at 7 or a very generous 8 for SQ. This is the second misleading rating for recording quality from Classics Today I've encountered - very disappointing."Report Abuse
Great Revival!August 22, 2014By bess holloway (Boulder, CO)See All My Reviews"I'm delighted to see this recording brought back for new audiences. My own disc is an original from the 1999 release. The notes and photos from that time are excellent. It's hard to imagine any recording that would deliver more long term enjoyment."Report Abuse