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Friday, May 26, 2017

George Enescu; Johannes Brahms - Romanian Rhapsody No. 2; Hungarian Dances; Haydn Variations (Antal Doráti)


Composer: Johannes Brahms; George Enescu
  1. Enescu - 2 Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11: No. 2 in D major
  2. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 5 in G minor
  3. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 6 in D major
  4. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 7 in A major
  5. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 21 in E minor
  6. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 11 in D minor
  7. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 2 in D minor
  8. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 1 in G minor
  9. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 10 in F major
  10. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 3 in F major
  11. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 18 in D major
  12. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 17 in F sharp minor
  13. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 19 in B minor
  14. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 20 in E minor
  15. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 12 in D minor
  16. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 15 in B flat major
  17. Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 4 in F sharp minor
  18. (18-27) Brahms - Variations on a theme of Haydn, Op. 56a

London Symphony Orchestra
Antal Doráti, conductor
Date: 1957-1965
Label: Mercury



Enescu's impassioned, unexpectedly sombre Second Romanian Rhapsody opens this latest LSO/ Dorati package from the vintage Mercury stable: though far less memorable than its indelible predecessor, it remains an attractive essay, and Dorati gauges its brooding melancholy most instinctively. Once available on an old Philips Universo LP, the same conductor's three-quarters complete selection of Brahms's Hungarian Dances (the five missing are Nos. 8, 9, 13, 14 and 16) makes invigorating listening. Not surprisingly, given his own ethnic roots, Dorati's effervescent conducting betokens a genuine charisma for this repertoire, and the combination of some captivatingly flexible rubato and an exhilarating LSO response undoubtedly comprises a treasurable experience.

Dorati's mobile, affectionate conception of the Haydn Variations has something of the disarming freshness and spontaneity of Pierre Monteux's famous account with this same group (available in the USA on a budget London Weekend Classics CD coupled with Monteux's VPO Brahms Second). A sparkling collection, then, given characteristically vivid, remarkably undated Mercury sound.

-- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

More reviews:


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.

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. Within his meticulous structures is embedded, however, a highly romantic nature.


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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