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Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta; Hungarian Sketches

B. Bartok , Fritz Reiner Chicago Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Price: $11.41 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 1993 $9.99  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Introduzione: Andante non troppo; Allegro vivace 9:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Concerto for Orchestra, Sz.116: Giuoco delle coppie: Allegretto scherzando 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Concerto for Orchestra, Sz.116: Elegia: Andante non troppo 7:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Intermezzo interroto: Allegretto 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Finale: Pesante; Presto 9:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz.106: Andante tranquillo 7:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz.106: Allegro 7:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Adagio 7:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz.106: Allegro molto 6:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. An Evening in the Village 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Hungarian Sketches: Bear Dance 1:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Melody 2:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Slighty Tipsy 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Hungarian Sketches: Swineherd's Dance 2:02$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta; Hungarian Sketches + Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time + Symphony 5 & 9
Price for all three: $35.02

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  • Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time $11.28
  • Symphony 5 & 9 $12.33

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Fritz Reiner Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Audio CD (August 10, 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Victor
  • ASIN: B000003FEJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Since its release on LP in the mid-1950s, Fritz Reiner's rendition of the Concerto for Orchestra has stood as the standard against which all other recordings of the work are measured. Even after all these years, the recording remains just as convincing and authoritative. Reiner's superb control of his orchestra and of Bartók's rhythms and textures is still unsurpassed, even by dozens of subsequent conductors in the digital age. Likewise, the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta shows just what an incredible ensemble the Chicago Symphony was under Reiner's direction. This umpteenth reissue, in RCA's Living Stereo series, promises to be the one to have, its sonics noticeably improved over the earlier CD release in 1989. --David Vernier

Product Description

Three of Bartok's greatest works, splendidly played by the legendary Fritz Reiner & the CSO.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, Outstanding Performance February 14, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I adore this CD, and I greatly admire Bartok as a composer of music and a music scholar. I first heard a recording of Charles Dutoit conducting the Concerto for Orchestra with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. That performance was also great, but at the time I really only enjoyed the finale. When I got this recording, I was ready for the other movements. This Fritz Reiner recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is from quite a long time ago, yet it sounds like it was made yesterday. It's presence and atmosphere keep you immersed in the music. Reiner has an unbelievable knack for conducting Bartok. Reiner was also a tremendous supporter of Bartok and one of the first conductors to champion his works. Both the Concerto for Orchestra and the Music for Percussion, Strings, and Celesta contain all that is best in Bartok's work. (Also check out his three piano concertos, which are equally remarkable!) Bartok's compositional style alternates between extraterrestrial melodic beauty and flashes of angular, barbaric rhythms. The climactic moments frequently jump at the listener like a crack of thunder, yet underlying it all is a supreme logic and a sense of balance. The Hungarian Sketches are lively examples of Bartok's dedication to bringing folk traditions to orchestral music. Since Reiner ranks among the 20th century's greatest conductors, and since Bartok brings a supreme scholastic energy to his music, I recommend this recording highly.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed Musically and Sonically June 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
There are plenty of enthusiastic reviews that attest to the quality of this performance, so I can only add, emphatically, that this is the greatest recorded performance of one of two of the greatest pieces by one of the greatest Modern composers. That being said, CD buyers are often wary of the sound quality of early stereo recordings remastered on CD. To them I would say that this is also one of the very best sounding CDs you will ever own of any music, recorded in digital or analog. Absolutely full, rich and clear sound, simply beautiful to the ear. One of the great classical recordings ever made.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Most people do not know the circumstances that made the Concerto possible. Bartok had just come to this country, an impoverished musician and composer from his native war-torn Hungary in 1944. Years earlier, a close friendship had developed between his student, Fritz Reiner, while Reiner was still at the Budapest Academy. After graduation and a brief European stint, Reiner came to the U.S. to further his career as a conductor. In the intervening years, Reiner and Bartok maintained a close and regular correspondence with each other. It was during Reiner's tenure at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra that Bartok came to the U.S., financially ruined, ill, and devoid of the desire to compose. Reiner, by now well-off financially and successful, took his former teacher under his wing and helped him financially as well as spiritually. During Bartok's convalescence, Reiner and other U.S.-based musicians arranged for Bartok to receive a commission for a composition from the Boston Symphony. This was the creative spark needed to fire Bartok's compositional talents once again, and resulted in the Concerto for Orchestra. The first performance was by Kousssevitzky and the Boston Symphony in 1945; the first recording was by Reiner and Pittsburgh by Columbia Masterworks that same year.
But improvements in recording technology and music directorship of an ensemble much superior to that of Pittsburgh resulted in Reiner again committing the Concerto to tape for RCA in Chicago in 1955. The result is a performance and recording much superior to the earlier Pittsburgh one. This recording gives the Chicago first chair musicians opportunity to "strut their stuff.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Die For! November 1, 2002
By Jay
Format:Audio CD
If my house were on fire I'd run into the burning building just to rescue my copy of this recording. Fritz Reiner (Friendly Fritz to his musicians!) was a former student of Bela Bartok's at the Budapest Conservatoire and remained a life long friend and supporter of the composer, particularly when he was living in exile in America during World War 2, in fact it was in no small part due to Reiner's effort that The Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned in the first place, so who better to play it? But even with that in mind, Reiner rises to the occasion brilliantly. When Gramophone magazine reviewed this CD, they compared it to Boulez's 1992 recording made in the same auditorium and commented on the uncanny realism of Reiner's recording, especially in the quiet passages. This is particularly telling at the beginning of the second movement, the decaying echo of the solo percussion is exceptionally realistic. Wonderful though the interpretation of the Concerto is, the "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta" coupled with it on this CD set recorded two years later (in 1957), is even better.
Although many people will say that Ferenc Fricsay's recording is perhaps more in keeping the spirit of the music, for me Reiner will always have the edge, he simply lets the music speak without ever letting it get out of control. I can give him no higher complement than that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Music
This is an excellent recording of three incredible pieces of music, most notably the Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percusion and Celeste. Read more
Published 2 months ago by matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST version available
Awesome rendition of most famous Bartok's masterpiece. Historical performance by one of the author's friends.

Great and crystal clear sound. Must buy.
Published 2 months ago by Black Vulture
5.0 out of 5 stars Various versions now available but two offer by far the best sound
This very famous disc containing music recorded on three tracks in 1955 and 1958 has been renowned for two reasons. Read more
Published 6 months ago by I. Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
This is one of my favorite modern classics. I listen to it frequently. The sound quality of this particular recording is absolutely outstanding.
Published 7 months ago by Clay Yearsley
5.0 out of 5 stars best Bartok
I got this album years ago when it first came out and lost it along the long way somewhere, probably in a fire. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Charles Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be bought and recommended without hesitation
Very well played by an orchestra and a conductor who fully understood and loved the composer. The other items were equally excellent. Can only highly recommend
Published 16 months ago by kinmont
3.0 out of 5 stars No one hears the flaws for the hype
While I think a first-time listener hearing this would understand and appreciate the greatness of Bartok's work, I still can't quite understand the overwhelming favoritism for... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Long-Time Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Recording
There aren't many recordings out there that can be called definitive without much of an argument. This is one of the few. Read more
Published 17 months ago by James Farmingdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent and Untarnished by the Years
Twenty-eight five-star reviews of this disc preceded mine; I suggest you read many of them for more detailed paeans to its excellence. Read more
Published 18 months ago by J. R. Trtek
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert island disc...
I really like Reiner's reading of "Music for strings, percussion and celesta", but... the "Concerto for orchestra" is simply phenomenal, both musically and sonically (the recording... Read more
Published on November 22, 2011 by Smeets Arne
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