Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kodaly, Philh Hungarica, Dorati|
Kodaly: Dances of Galanta; Hary Janos
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The Ultimate Kodaly Collection!
goodmusicman | USA | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two-CD set features all of twentieth century Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly's (1882-1967) major orchestral works. No other such set currently exists, so this fact alone makes this CD set unique. Even better is the fact that the performances (from the 1970s) remain unsurpassed to this day. Antal Dorati and the Philharmonia Hungarica--an all Hungarian lineup--play the music of this composer like no one else ever has. The famous Hary Janos Suite sounds as colorful and exciting as it gets. Every last detail of the orchestral contribution, including instrumental solos, is done to perfection. The Galanta Dances are given a wildly exciting performance, full of ethnic-derived tunes, played with great flair. The Peacock Variations are given a virtuosic and thrilling performance, with all the shades of color expressed perfectly. The less-performed Marosszek Dances (transcribed from piano) are given the most persuasive performance I have ever heard. And that's all on the first CD!
The second CD features Kodaly's rarer works, but you'd be missing so much if you didn't hear them! The Theatre Overture (originally part of Hary Janos) is a colorful score that captures Kodaly at his very best. The Concerto for Orchestra is a neo-classical work (its title is the same as the famous work by Kodaly's colleague Bartok) that is very enjoyable if not quite as mesmerizing as Kodaly's other works. The Summer Evening is one of Kodaly's very best: an impressionistic, colorful sketch of lyrical tunes that is very memorable. The Symphony in C is another neo-classical work that combines that genre with musical modernism (it was Kodaly's last major work), and the result is a true masterpiece that you'll return to often. All of the performances are outstanding. Dorati's interpretations with his Hungarian orchestra are idiomatic, capturing every nuance with care, which other performances often fail to do. The sound quality on both CDs is about as perfect as you could want--typical of Decca's 1970s analogue recordings: they sound better than many digital recordings!
This CD set is two for the price of one. If you want all of Kodaly's major orchestral works, this is the way to go. If you already own the Hary Janos or Galanta and wish to explore more Kodaly, this is just your ticket. You'll probably dispense with your old recording of those famous works in favor of Dorati's superior performances. In sum, at this price (and even if it costed more), this CD set is a must for Kodaly fans as well as all fans of colorful, ethnic-based classical music."
G.D. | Norway | 03/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One needn't really say too much about this one: It is quite simply top choice for more or less all the works. Famous masterpieces such as the Hary Janos suite and the Peacock variations are handled with a verve, colorfulness and rhythmic incision -simply full of excitement and power (and the same goes, of course, for the dance sets). And the orchestral playing is superb; not only do these musicians understand the idiom in full, they also transcend technical mastery to give us truly virtuosic renditions - listen, for example, to the solos in the Peacock variation; I am reluctant to believe that they have ever been played with equal panache and brilliance.
Importantly, the set does not only bring us stunning performances of the more famous works, they also bring us most of the less famous works as well - also in unsurpassable performances. The Concerto for Orchestra (predating Bartók's) is a nationalistic and enjoyable piece in a somewhat neo-classical vein. The symphony is often viewed as one of Kodaly's less successful works, but - at least in the hands of Dorati and the these players - it comes across as a very appealing, neo-classical and slightly more modern work. The shorter works (Summer Evening and Theatre overture) are vintage Kodaly, however. Add to all this a superb, spacious sound, and you've really got a disc to treasure."