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12 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly excellent
When looking for good reading of Brahms's complete Hungarian Dances, I tried also this recording - and it became my final choice. Very fine and polished, but still enough "dancing" performance, with balanced performances of all dances (there is no one, which could semm worse preformed than others) and very good recording quality, that's why this bargain-priced disc beats...
Published on 26 Dec 2004 by J. Vich

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I purchased this based on my experience of Brahms performed on Gypsy Campfire by 101 Strings Orchestra and I found it flat and dull. The 101 strings version is far more lively and has greater feeling. The reviews here also swayed my decision and once again I was disapointed. Obviously classical music is defined by the performer more than anything, as indeed with any...
Published on 29 July 2008 by Knight


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly excellent, 26 Dec 2004
By 
J. Vich "A. R." (Prague, Czech Republic, EUROPE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
When looking for good reading of Brahms's complete Hungarian Dances, I tried also this recording - and it became my final choice. Very fine and polished, but still enough "dancing" performance, with balanced performances of all dances (there is no one, which could semm worse preformed than others) and very good recording quality, that's why this bargain-priced disc beats lots of recodrings of much more famous orchestras / conductors.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The agony and the exstacy, 9 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
This is such a bargain ! There is no better recording of these magical, stirring pieces and there probably never will be. The players perform as if their life depends on it and every exquisite bittersweet moment is heartbreakingly rendered. The pieces typically oscillate between sheer hedonism and wistful melancholy - listening to these gypsy-inspired masterpieces makes the listener feel drunk with the sheer torture and wonder of being alive. I am sorry - I have to stop now and play it yet again !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen without smiling if you can, 26 Mar 2011
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
Elegant, sly, invigorating and amusing by turns these dances represent some of the most uplifting and sheerly joyful music ever. Perhaps mindful of how these gypsy tunes can turn schmaltzy, Bogar and his Budapest orchestra are occasionally just a little too restrained when I would have liked a tad more passion, but by and large they are alive to every nuance, particularly in matters of rubato and rhythmic contrast. This sounds like a live concert by musicians enjoying themselves rather than a studio recording but the musicians have managed to combine the discipline of studio work with the spontaneity of performance - and to my ears the playing is of a very high technical standard, too.

I defy you to listen without feeling swept along by the brilliance and élan of the playing on this super-bargain disc, now available on Marketplace for silly prices, less than the cost of the postage, having been recorded over twenty years ago and been awarded a Penguin Guide Rosette. Those dances orchestrated by Dvorak are marginally less inspired; the real gems come earlier in the programme amongst the first ten but they are all worth having and hearing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hungarian Dances, 20 Nov 2007
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Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
This is a great recording of a stirring and uplifting piece of music. The dances alternate between soaring jubilation to mournful melancholy and all with a beautiful Hungarian folk lilt to them. I grew up on this CD and love it just as much now as I did as a child. This is a brilliant place to start with Brahms and an excellent recording. You can often find this at a good price, and is well worth a try, you shouldn't be disappointed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 14 Sep 2010
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
I am in no way an expert on classical music but I really love this piece and listened to many different versions until I settled on this one. The orchestra/conductor's interpretation is just magical with heavy emphasis on the string section allowing you to be carried away by the composition. I have heard other versions which focus on the piano with crashing cymbals which to me created a jarring effect. This version is far more soothing and fluid. Highly reccomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable 'normal' set of the orchestral Brahms dances, 6 April 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
This disc, well recorded in 1988, contains the 21 orchestral versions of the Hungarian Dances that Brahms originally wrote for piano (in various ways for one or more piano and for one or more players). The orchestral set as here includes arrangements by Brahms(3), Dvorak (5), Parlow (6), Schmelling (3), Gal (2), Hallen and Juon (1 each).

Without exception, Bogar chooses exactly the right tempo for each dance so that they all flow and 'dance' effectively. There is a palpable feeling of pleasure or even joy in the playing by the excellent Budapest Symphony orchestra.

Of the various sets that I have owned of these dances this one stands out for sheer enjoyment value and there seems little reason to spend more ...... unless you wish to explore the equally excellent set with Fischer conducting the similarly named, but different Budapest Festival orchestra. That set makes a more deliberate attempt to maximise the Hungarian gypsy feel by incorporating a gypsy fiddler and the cimbalon into arrangements by Brahms (3), Dvorak (3), Parlow (2), Fischer (8), Schollum (2) and Hidas (3). These are really very different in intention and the only answer is to buy both as both are excellent in their different but complementary ways.

I would therefore suggest that both the Bogar and the Fischer sets are the leading contenders for purchasers to consider and that the best solution to this choice is to buy both.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Listen, 19 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
If you want music to listen to, Brahms Hungarian Dances is a perfect pick. Each song has its own identity - there's no copying of music like other composers have done. I continously listen to the 2nd, 4th and 5th dances as I find them the best. The orchestra plays each song to perfection which makes it a great album to have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hungarian dances that dance!, 16 Feb 2014
This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
The favourable reviews here say it all. What more need be added. This is a disc to make you smile and feel glad to be alive. I have heard more polished accounts of these works but never a complete recording that is so infectious and which sounds, dare I say it, just so right.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brahms - Hungarian Dances, 24 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
This was a lovely CD to lift my mood. It was full of lovely melodies, passion, local colour and fun. A lively CD to keep me motivated while doing jobs I find tedious!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Music, 4 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. R. D. M. Kirby "Dick Kirby" (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Audio CD)
The Naxos label seldom disappoints and certainly not on this occasion with István Bogár (a first for me) conducting the Budapest Symphony Orchestra with considerable brio in Brahms' 21 Hungarian Dances. I purchased it to hear my favourite, No. 18; it commences rather like a train, sluggishly emerging from a station before it reaches top speed - and I got the other superbly played 20 dances for free!

A must-have.
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Brahms - Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms (Audio CD - 1993)
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