HD-Vinyl 24/192 (DGG) Bela Bartok – Piano Concerto No. 1 (Anda/Fricsay)

Dedicated to Jean-Luc
Ferenc Fricsay was noted for his interpretations of Bartok and Mozart (and even wrote a book about the two composers). Fricsay and Anda were graduates of the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Budapest, where their teachers included Bartok and Kodaly. The performance is lyrical where lyricism is called for, and full of driving rhythms that are exciting without being crass.

# Composer: Bela Bartok
# Performer: Geza Anda
# Orchestra: Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin
# Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
# Vinyl (1961)

# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
# DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 1.86 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Review concerning all three concertos with Anda/Fricsay:

I cannot say what are the definitive versions of Bartok’s piano concertos, but this is an amazing set. The orchestra and soloist are exceptional, never afraid to be as light or heavy as the music demands, with an intuitive sensitivity to the score’s demands.

Piano Concerto no.2 is my favorite. With his second concerto, Bartok wanted to make it “lighter” and more pleasant to the audience. However, he also desired to remain in the same sphere of compositional style as the first. Thus, he makes no compromises with popular taste, sacrificing nothing in the way of vision or complexity. Although technically similar in many respects, they are different in important ways. Compared to the first’s impulsive, prickly development of ideas, the second asserts itself more meticulously, like Bartok’s middle string quartets. The first movement is starkly arranged (winds, percussion, piano) but melodically delightful and rhythmically varied. Pianist Géza Anda’s approach on the second concerto is in perfect command of the technical elements and also abstracts like the playfulness and eagerness. The deft but sweet conveyance of the second movement’s critical presto is remarkable, and the return to adagio in the final section unleashes colossi of dissonant chords over rumbling percussion takes one’s breath away. The final movement is best of all: deriving most of its material from the first movement, it is viciously dissonant and rhythmically aggressive. It is also a throwback to the Baroque period with its emphasis on contrapuntal technical and concise thematic development.

The first concerto also factored into this development of merging folksongs with baroque tradition. But despite Bartok’s obvious commitment as an ethnomusicologist for Eastern Europe, “folk songs” for Bartok were did not only mean popular songs of the Carpathian Basin, but also other ancient musical traditions like African drum music. This is an important influence on the composition core of the first piano concerto. The rhythmical proto-idea appears at first on piano and brass (low-registers) and from here numerous thematic evolutions unfold. Long considered the most expressive of all instruments, Bartok shapes the music from the percussive qualities of the piano. The percussive aspects of the piano were often important to him. Percussion rises to a key role in this piece, as in the early part of the second movement, a tense exchange between percussions and piano. Then, an exhilarating piano ostinato in 3/8 for many bars, spliced and developed multitexturally and with melodic variation. These are powerful Bartok moments.

The third concerto is less dissonant, “brighter”, and more “classical” than the other two. Yet Bartok’s spritely melodies are captivating and the piano parts especially imaginative. The second movement is very powerful, with a slow and sparse texture but it develops into a complex formation of musical pinpricks and fragmentary melodies. It is less compelling than the other two, but it reflects a profound, deep atmosphere of uneasy peace.


A1 1. Satz: Allegro Moderato – Allegro 9:10
A2 2. Satz: Andante 8:23
A3 3. Satz: Allegro Molto 7:26
B Rhapsodie (Für Klavier Und Orchester) 23:35

 Analyzed folder: /192k Bartok – Piano Concerto 1 – Anda, Fricsay
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -0.78 dB     -18.12 dB     A1 Konzert Fuer Klavier Und Orchester Nr. 1 – 1. Allegro Moderato – Allegro.wav
 DR15        -1.36 dB     -23.25 dB     A2 Konzert Fuer Klavier Und Orchester Nr. 1 – 2. Andante.wav
 DR14        -0.55 dB     -18.09 dB     A3 Konzert Fuer Klavier Und Orchester Nr. 1 – 3. Allegro Molto.wav
 DR13        -0.32 dB     -18.00 dB     B  Rhapsodie (Fuer Klavier Und Orchester).wav
 Number of files:    4
 Official DR value:    DR14


Ripping Infos


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.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Very 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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13 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/192 (DGG) Bela Bartok – Piano Concerto No. 1 (Anda/Fricsay)

  1. wow… my favourite rendition of Bartók’s concertos…
    i do own his 2 & 3 in mono (1st or 2nd pressing with ‘Alle Hersteller’ & accolade sign on sticker, not printed on a sleeve). somewhat worn, but in different engineering (Günther Hermanns!!!)
    Adagio religioso from the 3rd concerto played by this duo seems to be still unrivalled.
    thanks a lot!

  2. Thank you very much for this record! This is the best interpretation of Bartok piano concertos!
    But what a real hit here – it is the Rhapsodie. Well, it’s perfect really! Nothing to add.

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