Friday, May 26, 2017

George Enescu; Franz Liszt - Romanian Rhapsody No.1; Hungarian Rhapsodies (Antal Doráti)


Composer: Franz Liszt; George Enescu
  1. Enescu - 2 Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11: No. 1 in A major
  2. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 1 F minor (No. 14 in F minor, orch. Liszt/Doppler)
  3. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 2 D minor (No. 2 in C sharp minor, orch. Doppler)
  4. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 3 D major (No. 6 in D flat major, orch. Liszt/Doppler)
  5. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 4 D minor (No. 12 in C sharp minor, orch. Liszt)
  6. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 5 E minor "Héroïde-élégiaque" (No. 5 in E minor, orch. Liszt)
  7. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies for orchestra, S. 359: No. 6 D major "Pester Karneval" (No. 9 in E flat major, orch. Liszt)

London Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati, conductor
Date: 1960, 1963
Label: Mercury



"Recording equipment: three-track, half-inch tape/three Telefunken 201 microphones." If the sound of that phrase is magic to your ears, this disc will enchant you. If the name Wilma Cozart reminds you of all that was good and honest and true, this disc will stir you. If the words "living presence" mean anything to you, this disc will make you moan. In this recording made on three-track tape through 3 Telefunken microphones directed by Wilma Cozart for Mercury Living Presence, Antal Dorati and the London Symphony turn in performances of Enescu and Liszt's rhapsodies in sound so real that the cimbalom player will be sitting just to the right of you. The performances themselves are bright, brash, and lively. Dorati was a Hungarian conductor who made his living directing ballet orchestras and his rhythms here are vigorous and irresistible. The LSO was the most virtuosic England since the Philharmonia and their playing here is strong and brilliant. The music itself may lack subtlety and depth, but it makes up for it by being colorful, melodic, and infectious. Since its release on LP in 1963, this has been the recording to get for this repertoire and this re-release in a new super audio transfer has made that true for another generation.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic

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George Enescu (19 August 1881 – 4 May 1955) was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher, regarded as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and Romania's most important musician. He was the youngest student ever admitted to the Vienna Conservatory at the age of seven. Many of Enescu's works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two Romanian Rhapsodies. He was also a noted violin teacher. Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, Serge Blanc, Ida Haendel and Joan Field were among his pupils.

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary. Liszt gained renown in Europe for his virtuosic skill as a pianist and in the 1840s he was considered to be the greatest pianist of all time. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent composers of the "New German School". Some of his most notable musical contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.


Antal Doráti (9 April 1906 – 13 November 1988) was a Hungarian-born conductor and composer who became a naturalized American citizen in 1943. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy with Zoltán Kodály and Leo Weiner for composition and Béla Bartók for piano. He made his conducting debut in 1924, and over the course of his career, made over 600 recordings, mostly for Mercury and Decca. Doráti became especially well known for his recordings of Tchaikovsky's music. He was the first conductor to record all three of Tchaikovsky's ballets and "1812" Overture.


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