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Pierre Boulez Conducts Bartók Box set


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Product Description

SONY 88883797762; SONY - Italia; Classica Orchestrale

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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa128324c) out of 5 stars 1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1226060) out of 5 stars Boulez's best Bartok in one bargain box set 15 April 2014
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the second box set devoted to Boulez's Bartok recordings, supplementing an earlier one from DG. On the whole, this sony release is preferable, if only because it restores to the catalog Boulez's first Bluebeard's Castle, passionately sung by Nimsgern ad Troyannos, which I much prefer to the rather clinical remake with Polgar and Norman (even though Polgar is the only native Hungarian speaker on either performance). It's true that the orchestra on the DG set is the magnificent Chicago Sym. (except for one appearance by the London Symphony) and is double the size of the Sony set - eight CDs compared to four - but I find Boulez's later approach to Bartok too aggressive and cold, and it's not helped by DG's glaring digital sound.

Here we get the New York Philharmonic in prime shape, with the BBC Sym. appearing in two works, The Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta and Bluebeard's Castle (one and a half discs). The BBC strings are no match for Chicago's in the first work, but they are clean and clear, only getting blurry in the fastest unison passages. Boulez is never as cold or rigid as he was to become in later years. Recording dates are given in microscopic print on each cardboard sleeve. Boulez directed the BBC Sym. from 1971-75 and the NYPO between 1971 and 1977; they are the two orchestras that appear here. The recording sessions were between 1967 and 1977. The analog sound is satisfactory and often better than that but not in the same league with the best digital sound today. (If you are a stickler for details, the Bluebeard's Castle is shorn of the spoken introduction.)

No notes, texts, or synopses.

Here are the complete contents:
The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 (suite)
Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Sz. 48, Op. 11
Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116
The Wooden Prince
Dance Suite, BB 86, Sz. 77
3 Village Scenes, BB 87b, Sz. 79
Four Orchestral Pieces Op. 12 (Sz 51)
Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106
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