# Composer: Béla Bartok
# Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
# Vinyl (1965)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: Decca
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN SACD: B000GUJZSM
# Size: 2.09 GB
# Scan: yes
Bartok had a dry and ironic sense of humour, and I suspect he was teasing us a bit when he talked about the Concerto for Orchestra as being `symphony-like’ with allegedly `concertante’ treatment of the instruments in the band. He could have said the same about the treatment of the instruments in the Dance Suite, and I could say much the same about the orchestration in the symphonies of, say, Prokofiev. It’s not the way Sibelius for one writes for orchestra, but to me it seems just the natural outcome of the increasing virtuosity of orchestral players in the 20th century. Nor does the work seem symphonic to me in the least. Several of the movements would be of symphonic length in Sibelius if not in Shostakovich or Mahler, but the Concerto for Orchestra really seems a rather ambitious orchestral suite to me. The movements have a looser relationship among themselves than I associate with symphonies, and despite the seriousness of the tone at many points the material is not `worked’ in what I would think of as a symphonic way either. If Bartok had called it a suite, I doubt that any of us would be worrying much about its classification as a symphony or as a concerto.
Solti’s account has enjoyed the status of a classic for many years now, a status I’m more than happy to endorse. The tempi are admirable, and the LSO is on its best form. The recorded quality does not have quite the vividness of some modern versions, notably that by Ivan Fischer, and I felt this particularly in the Elegy movement, but such comparisons are only between very good and even better and they would not particularly sway my own choice. In any case I still feel to this day that Solti handles one of my own favourite moments, the `raspberry’ blown by the trombones (very deservedly in my opinion) at the theme from the Shostakovich 7th in the Intermezzo Interrotto, probably better than anyone else.
This is a thoroughly recommendable version still, I’m quite convinced. If cost is a factor in anyone’s decision it has that in its favour for one thing. Choice of coupling could well be important too. Solti offers the Dance Suite, 20 years earlier in date of composition than the Concerto, and it is likely to be a popular choice, especially as the level of brightness in the recording is toned up a little. Fischer has the 3 Village Scenes plus what would tip the balance for me, the early symphonic poem Kossuth. I’m not you, so I can’t be more categorical. If money and time are no object I would recommend obtaining both versions. If it has to be one version and one only, either spin a coin or decide on the basis of price or coupling.
Analyzed folder: /192kBB_CoForOr_Slt/192k Bartok – Concerto For Orchestra – Solti
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -0.74 dB -18.73 dB A1 Concerto For Orchestra – 1 Introduzione – Andante non troppo – Allegro vivace.wav
DR15 -5.80 dB -27.59 dB A2 Concerto For Orchestra – 2 Giuoco delle coppie – Allegretto scherzando.wav
DR12 -1.17 dB -19.95 dB A3 Concerto For Orchestra – 3 Elegia – Andante, non troppo.wav
DR15 -2.62 dB -23.85 dB A4 Concerto For Orchestra – 4 Intermezzo interrotto – Allegretto.wav
DR12 -1.02 dB -18.51 dB B1 Concerto For Orchestra – 5 Finale – Pesante – Presto.wav
DR14 -2.07 dB -24.73 dB B2 Dance Suite – 1 Moderato.wav
DR12 -1.83 dB -19.32 dB B3 Dance Suite – 2 Allegro molto.wav
DR12 -1.11 dB -17.76 dB B4 Dance Suite – 3 Allegro vivace.wav
DR13 -16.00 dB -33.56 dB B5 Dance Suite – 4 Molto tranquillo.wav
DR13 -10.07 dB -29.91 dB B6 Dance Suite – 5 Comodo.wav
DR12 -1.26 dB -17.19 dB B7 Dance Suite – 6 Finale – Allegro.wav
Number of files: 11
Official DR value: DR13
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- NEW! Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
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.
- 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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