Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra The Miraculous Mandarin – New York Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez - 2002 (SACD-R, ISO)

Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra The Miraculous Mandarin – New York Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez – 2002 (SACD-R, ISO)

Composer: Béla Bartók
Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
Conductor: Pierre Boulez
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Format: ISO
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.0, 2.0
Label: Sony Classical
Size: 5.18 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes
Server: datafile

Béla Bartók – Concerto for Orchestra The Miraculous Mandarin – New York Philharmonic / Pierre Boulez (2002)

Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 127

01. Introduzione 10:00
02. Giuoco delle coppie 06:39
03. Elegia 07:25
04. Intermezzo interrotto 04:17
05. Finale 08:38

The Miraculous Mandarin, pantomime in 1 act, Sz. 73, BB 82 (Op. 19)

06. Prelude 01:16
07. The Curtain Rises 01:47
08. First seduction game 03:38
09. Second seduction game 03:02
10. Third seduction game 02:24
11. General consternation – The tramps make signs from their hiding place that the girl should start, lure the Mandarin a little closer, ensnare him 01:14
12. The girl is undecided. She shudders and draws back again 04:32
13. The girl sinks down to embrace him; he begins to tremble in feverish excitement 02:28
14. The tramps leap out, seize the Mandarin and tear him away from the girl. They strip him of his jewelry and his money 02:06
15. Suddenly the Mandarin’s head appears between the pillows and he looks longingly at the girl. The four shudder and stand aghast 03:00
16. The terrified tramps discuss how they are to get rid of the Mandarin at last 01:16
17. The lamp falls to the floor – goes out. The body of the mandarin begins to glow with a greenish blue light. His eyes are fixed on the girl 04:17

Pierre Boulez conducts the New York Philharmonic in the music of Béla Bartók, in recordings originally issued in Quad (as the artwork indicates). These multichannel mixes were somewhat controversial for being much less aggressive than the 70s quad versions.

Reviews from Classics Today (9 Performance / 9 Sound)

These performances, the excellence of which is well known (as is their less than stellar sonic quality), acquire a new lease on life in multi-channel format. Heard in SACD surround sound, the Concerto for Orchestra’s second movement duets enjoy superior localization and a more vividly evocative textural environment. The rushing strings of the finale leap out of the speakers into your listening room. Similarly, the Mandarin’s overloaded climaxes sound less compacted and more subtly layered, while the dynamic range seems to have been expanded as well (witness the “chase” fugue and its ensuing orchestral hysteria).

Bartók’s music often is spatially conceived (remember the seating plans in the scores of such works as Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, or the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion), and the enhanced three-dimensionality that the surround format offers suits these pieces admirably. Here is one disc, then, that gains enormously from the new technology, and the fact that the Concerto for Orchestra doesn’t seem to be otherwise available domestically only adds to its attractions.

Review from Classic CD Review

Concerto for Orchestra was recorded Dec. 18, 1972 in Manhattan Center, Mandarin May 11, 1971 – but in Avery Fisher Hall. Both recordings (like the adjoining Prokofiev – Mussorgsky) were done in quadraphonic sound – and it is surprising that CD notes make no mention of this important fact. For the Concerto, “remix engineer” was Raymond Moore, for Mandarin, “original quad remix” was by Raymond L. Moore (presumably the same person), and “sound mix engineer” for the entire CD is Richard King. Recorded sound from Manhattan Center is more appealing than what is heard from Avery Fisher where doubtless a touch of added reverberation was added. Specific instruments can be heard coming from the four main speakers. You are right in the middle of the orchestra, and it is quite grand. Purists will be offended perhaps, but I think it is absolutely stunning. The DSD processing shows what wonders were on those original tapes, including some remarkably solid bass. Boulez’ Bartók isn’t as exciting as Reiner’s, to name only one other conductor, but this fine performance is worth hearing if just for the sonic quality. A word of caution: this SACD can be played only on an SACD player; unfortunately, Sony did not provide regular high-quality stereo tracks for those who do not have multi-channel equipment and wish to play it regular two-track stereo.

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