I nearly rated this only four stars; but since my only real quarrel was with one movement of one of the pieces, I felt that would be unfairly draconian.
There is much to like in Andrew Davis' reading of the Concerto for Orchestra; such a wealth of detail WORKS here that I've never heard any other conductor do: when the tempo picks up in the Introduzione, and there's a brief interruption of the new tempo while the horns have a unison perfect-fourth figure, Davis DOES NOT milk this, and the effect is an arresting tenuto rather than an exaggerated curtain-line, when we've only just got started ... the best clarinet reading in the Giuoco delle coppie that I remember hearing ... the Shostakovich parody which "interottos" the Intermezzo is taken at a deliciously deliberate pace which is far more mocking than the general "whip-it" consensus ... and the Finale dances and bubbles without being an insensate race to the final double-bar.
But there is a moment of mush in the strings during the Elegia which I cannot in good conscience overlook. It doesn't ruin the performance, or this recording, for me; but it cannot be called the "best," either ... like a year in which First Prize is not awarded ....
The performance here by the Helsinki Strings of the Divertimento is brilliant, and brings out the beauty and elation of this masterwork for the string orchestra.
The Dance Suite is to Bartók's oeuvre what the Slavonic Dances are to Dvorák's; well-made, ebullient dance-music ... not "serious art," perhaps, but far finer art than a great deal of laboriously "serious art" ....
The Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta needs no praise from me; it is in many respects Bartók's signature work, and enduringly unique. Utterly inimitable, so that it is an unforgiving Nemesis to its imitators; a piece which Bartók alone could have written.
The other pieces complement the disc brilliantly, without being in any negative sense "filler": the suite from the ballet "The Wooden Prince" and an arrangement for cello of the First Rhapsody.
Maybe this set is not the final word; but it is an excellent starting-point.