_Conductors – Marriner

Bartok – Music For Strings Percussion And Celeste / Marriner

The Music of Bela Bartok Available Now

Album Reviews of the Music of Bela Bartok

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  • This wonderful Decca Argo release makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • We surveyed a large group of pressings containing this work, and in the end Marriner’s reading from 1970 had the best sound and the best performance of any we played
  • Wonderfully textured string tone and huge hall space extending wall to wall and floor to ceiling – everything you want in a top quality orchestral recording is here, and more
  • To keep beating a horse that has been dead for years, this is precisely the sound that the modern reissue fails to reproduce well
  • “… one of the best-known compositions by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.”

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Handel / Water Music / Marriner

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  • Super Hot sound on side , 8 of the 9 movements of Suite No. 1
  • White Hot Demo Disc sound on side two for the last movement and Suites 2&3
  • One of our two favorite performances – Marriner gets it like few others do
  • An exceptionally dynamic recording that gets QUIET like live music

This White Hot Stamper has a number of exceptionally attractive qualities, the most notable of which is how quiet the music can be during some of the quieter passages. This is a sound that we did not hear on any of the more than a dozen Water Music recordings we played, which of course is what accounts for it being so striking to the ear. Records rarely are quiet the way live orchestral music can be in performance, compression being the order of the day when the tape is rolling.

Running neck and neck with the Leppard performance we liked so much, the choice between the Marriner and that one is probably a matter of taste. Each is superb. Each sets a standard that will be hard for any other pressing to achieve. And the ’70s Philips vinyl is going to be impossible to beat, certainly with any Golden Age pressing we know of.

An Overview

The modern version of The Water Music contains three separate suites, referred to as Suite No. I, Suite No. 2 and Suite No. 3, each of which is in a different key, and each of which makes use of different instrumentation. Suite No. 1 is the one that will be most familiar to you, 2 and 3 quite a bit less so. Click on the Water Music tab above to read more about the work.

On this record, 8 of the 9 movements in Suite No. 1 are on side one.

Side Two

White Hot, and Hard To Fault (HTF). It’s clear, with lovely texture to the strings. The low bass strings are shockingly well-recorded; we did not hear that sound on any other pressing we played. The sound is dynamic but never harsh. (more…)

Haydn / Toy Symphony – Marriner on a Japanese Soundphile Pressing

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DEMO QUALITY SOUND! This is the best sounding Toy symphony you will ever hear!

I discovered how good this Japanese EMI Soundphile Series recording is almost 20 years ago. In that time I can say that I think I may have run across at most two other copies. This is a tough one to find!

But it’s worth the effort, because all the little toys that play along with the music just JUMP out of the speakers. The recording is so transparent and the toys are so well miked it’s like hearing this work for the first time, or live.

This album can easily become a favorite Demo Disc — it has that kind of “you-are-there” sound. This recording was made at Abbey Road in 1976 under the direction of the two Christophers. Perhaps that accounts for the quality of the recording. The Eine Kleine on side two is also very nice, although I wouldn’t say it’s world class the way The Toy Symphony is.