Bartok: Music For Strings, Percussion, Celesta; Haydn, Smetana / Harnoncourt

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Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes Nikolaus Harnoncourt to teach you a thing or two. Now as we all know, there...
Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes Nikolaus Harnoncourt to teach you a thing or two. Now as we all know, there are two Harnoncourts, one brilliant and one weird. This recording features the brilliant one. He finds textural details in the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, particularly from the harp in the second and fourth movements, that will amaze you. Of course there's a price for this luxurious detail: with the happy exception of the dynamic and driving second movement, the remaining three movements move at a pace well below the composer's suggested timings. In the opening fugue and nocturnal third movement this hardly matters, but the finale sounds just a bit underpowered, even though its later stages contain magical moments.

No such reservations concern the performance of the Divertimento, which opens with scorching accents and a driving intensity that carries all before it. Once again the central slow movement is a marvel of texture and gentle gradations of tone and timbre, while the earthy finale recaptures the vivacity of the opening movement. There is no finer performance of this piece available. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe plays both works as if its collective life depended on it, and taken as a whole this excellently recorded disc further confirms Harnoncourt's claim to be considered one of today's podium greats. Not to be missed.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com


Product Description:


  • Release Date: February 21, 2012


  • UPC: 828765932622


  • Catalog Number: RCA 59326


  • Label: RCA


  • Number of Discs: 2


  • Period: ""


  • Composer: Anton Bruckner, Bedrich Smetana, Béla Bartók, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


  • Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Vienna Concentus Musicus, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra


  • Performer: Christian Gerhaher, Dorothea Röschmann, Michael Schade



Works:


  1. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106

    Composer: Béla Bartók

    Ensemble: Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  2. Divertimento for String Orchestra, Sz 113

    Composer: Béla Bartók

    Ensemble: Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  3. The Creation, H 21 no 2: In splendour bright

    Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn

    Ensemble: Vienna Concentus Musicus

    Performer: Michael Schade (Tenor)

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  4. The Creation, H 21 no 2: The heavens are telling

    Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn

    Ensemble: Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Vienna Concentus Musicus

    Performer: Christian Gerhaher (Baritone), Dorothea Röschmann (Soprano), Michael Schade (Tenor)

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  5. Requiem in D minor, K 626: Dies irae

    Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Ensemble: Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Vienna Concentus Musicus

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  6. Má vlast: no 1, Vysehrad, T 110

    Composer: Bedrich Smetana

    Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  7. Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109: 3rd movement, Finale - Fragments

    Composer: Anton Bruckner

    Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt