Audiophile HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Mercury) Bela Bartok – The Wooden Prince (Dorati)

front-small-boxsetMany thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this gem
Antal Dorati really has this one wrapped up–as a great ballet conductor, Hungarian, and friend of the composer, he brings a special authority to Bartók’s allegorical ballet The Wooden Prince. This is Bartók at his most Romantically evocative, with orchestral writing full of shimmering textures and exotic sounds. This was the first stereo recording of the complete ballet, and it remains one of the finest, both in sound and performance. — David Hurwitz

Pay attention: the glitch-phantom strikes again….
due to a digital error on side B at 4:20  (I don’t know what, how and why causes it once/twice in a month) a complete new rip is available. Please replace the old rip with the newer one, at least replace part 2 (side B). If you see on FF the rar archives twice (old FF issue) please take the newer ones (by date)

# Composer: Bela Bartok
# Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Antal Dorati
Vinyl 1966
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac (Tracks)
# Label: Mercury

# DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 1.01 GB
# Scan: Yes

# Server: FF

Since “The Wooden Prince” seems to be one of those pieces that are resilient to bad performances and can tolerate a wide variety of interpretations, it would be easy to give Dorati’s recording either a thumbs-down for being perfunctory or a thumbs-up for being wonderfully literal and letting the music speak for itself. (Man, how’s that for prevarication??) But the fact is, that’s precisely the quandary any critic would find himself in trying to review this recording. There are certainly sonically superior recordings out there (this one was recorded in 1964). There are passages that some other orchestras might play with a little more virtuosity. And you might find some other conductors milking the music more aggressively, discovering some of its innate lyricism, swagger, power, what-have-you. But you will not find a more balanced complete rendition anywhere. This is starting-point “Wooden Prince,” still the best all-around performance available, for my money anyway.
And the music itself? Though not terribly popular, this is guaranteed Grade “A” Bartok. It is Bartok the master orchestrator, who looks beyond the minimum capabilities of the instruments he is working with, who explores all possibilities. In this piece, he expertly runs the gamut of orchestral colors. What I’m saying is, anyone serious about knowing great Bartok (that is, anyone who takes his Twentieth Century seriously) needs to know this piece thoroughly. It is also probably among his most accessible compositions and a surprisingly good introduction to the world of Bartok.


Analyzed folder: /96k Bartok – The Wooden Prince – Dorati
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -0.88 dB     -19.37 dB     A The Wooden Prince (Part One).aif
DR14        -1.05 dB     -21.14 dB     B The Wooden Prince (Part Two).aif
Number of files:    2
Official DR value:    DR14

Ripping Info


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
My rips are almost rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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19 thoughts on “Audiophile HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Mercury) Bela Bartok – The Wooden Prince (Dorati)

  1. The audio quality is great but theres a in the second part, more precisely at 4:20, the audio glitches for a few seconds. I expect more feedback from other users to see if thats just my bad luck!


  2. Partially in response to Jean Luc, and then in general: I had never heard this piece previously.
    I’ve heard both his Concerto for Orchestra, and Bluebeard’s Castle, but this is so mild and laid back in its opening, it is a great contrast; and very enjoyable. But it is obviously 20th Century in the balance, and not anything like Gounod’s March of the Marionettes from Alfred Hitchcock.
    I got fooled expecting something like that: but, Oh no, not at all.
    It just finished playing, and it was a totally new discovery.

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