Post by Sacqueboutier Post by Raymond Hall Post by Andy Evans
Just wondering if there's a really knockout performance of this. I grew
up with Stokowsky, which is exciting and quite well recorded. Just
listening to Reiner - interesting in many ways but not something I'd
chuck away all other performances for. I'm wondering whether most of
the really good performances of this are "interesting..." or whether
there's a performance that's a revelation in some way. It's a pretty
complex score with a lot of different moods. Is there a specifically
'Hungarian' way to play it? Reiner sounds more Chicago than Budapest.
Are the inner tensions and mysteries unlocked by a feel for the
Hungarian idiom? What are some of the keys to interpreting this work?
It's hardly a 'showpiece' in terms of mood.
I imprinted on Szell, and still think it a fine performance.
A fine performance of what? It's not Bartok.
Yes it is.
Bartok is the very name that is printed in LARGER letters than Prokofiev's
name, on the front cover of the Masterworks Heritage CD. And, fwiw, the
final movement, as recorded, has no bearing whatsoever on the recorded first
four movements of the CfO by Szell and the Cleveland mob. In these, Szell is
excellent. The fact that he decided to cut the final movement, doesn't
affect, imo, the very excellence of the first four movements. In these,
Szell is very very good.
In fact, I have four CfOs, because I have just unearthed the Dorati/RCO
account on an Eloquence, coupled to Ivan Fischer's MSPC, which I will give
another listen to tonight. I remember Dorati as being very good. Haitink is
also fine to these ears, as is the cut Szell, whereas of the four accounts,
it is Reiner that I find rather plain. Fine note spinning imo. Almost
perfunctory as a reading, and that is not to take anything away from the
CSO, but Reiner doesn't plumb any of the layers, or depth, in this music.
As for Solti, I am pleased to report that I don't have ONE of his recorded
efforts in my collection, and I won't be adding any either.
Just because Szell made a cut (the muppet) in the Bartok doesn't invalidate
it either, (as cuts, changes, and all sorts of things are done in the name
of music making), and it doesn't mean I won't listen to Szell in this work.
In fact, to be absolutely honest about it, the Bartok is the only reason to
keep the CD, because the accompanying Prok 5th stinks to high heaven. Powder
puff Prok for dummies. Sad if anyone imprinted on this Prok 5th, or have
never listened to a live P5. But then, each to their own, I spose. Previn
leaves Szell for dead in this work.
In short, even a cut Bartok CfO, is well worth the listen, especially as
done by Szell. But for now I owe Dorati's CfO a listen.