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These are fabulous performances, fabulously recorded. Whether these HDTT transfers are noticeably better than the SACD releases will probably depend as much on your equipment as on the transfers, but if this coupling suits, this is a very enjoyable release.
Though the BSO and Koussevitsky commissioned and premiered Bartok's final masterpiece, it was Reiner who put them up to it as a parting gift to his demoralized, financially strapped and terminally ill mentor and colleague. With his own incomparable CSO at its best, this performance was, is, and in all likelihood will forever be, the most perfect performance the Concerto can possibly have and one of the best recorded performances of anything, ever, in any genre. The recording, from the earliest days of Living Stereo, captures everything, and HDTT's transfer conveys everything, including relative SIZE of sections, so that 12 or 14 first violins sound that big even when playing ppp. And to round things out, a wonderful dessert from Richard Strauss, another Reiner mentor.
Title: Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 123
Richard Strauss Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Op. 60
Artist(s): Fritz Reiner conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Recording Info: Bartók Recorded by RCA October 22, 1956, Orchestra Hall, Chicago
Strauss recorded by RCA recorded April 17-18, 1956, Orchestra Hall, Chicago
Engineer Lewis Layton. Producer Richard Mohr
Bartok transferred from an RCA 2-track tape ECS 9
Strauss transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape
Bartok Concerto For Orchestra
1 Introduzione: Andante Non Troppo; Allegro Vivace 9:56
2 Giuoco Delle Coppie; Allegretto Scherzando 5:59
3 Elegia: Andante, Non Troppo 7:55
4 Intermezzo Interotto; Allegretto 4:14
5 Finale: Pesante; Presto 9:00
R Strauss Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
6 Overture 3:49
7 Minuet 1:27
8 The Fencing Master 1:45
9 Entrance And Dance Of The Tailors 4:41
10 Entrance Of Cléonte 4:54
11 Prelude To Act II 3:13
12 The Dinner 10:07