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Discussion: Bartok: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Kocsis, Lehel, Marriner

Posts: 10

Post by Windsurfer June 1, 2006 (1 of 10)

You say the sound "only" rates 4 stars. Not to be critical but that should mean it's pretty darned good! - falling short only of the best (4.5 stars) and the best of the best,(5 stars). So how do you compare it with Rainbow Body on Telarc? I have that and see you rated it 4 stars also. If its that good, I am putting my order in ASAP.

Post by terence June 1, 2006 (2 of 10)
the review on amazon uk says this isn't digital, as claimed on the label, and dates from 1972. so how come it's multichannel?! perhaps someone could provide further information.

Post by Edvin June 1, 2006 (3 of 10)
Yes terence, how come all those old Philips recordings that Pentatone are re-issuing are in multichannel? There were hundreds of recordings made in quad during the seventies, well before digital. I don´t know about the Bartok however.

Post by Edvin June 1, 2006 (4 of 10)
There is a recording on Hungaroton from these artists dating from 1971 and 1972. No info about the quad status though. Also searched the Quadraphonic discography, but no Hungarotons are listed.

Post by Claude June 1, 2006 (5 of 10)
All Delta Music SACDs are multichannel, even if the source material is stereo or mono (some of their jazz SACDs). So there must have been some digital reprocessing (fake surround).

A few other examples of Capriccio (= Delta Music) multichannel SACDs made from stereo material:

Beethoven: Die 9 Sinfonien - Dresdner Philharmonie/Kegel
Classical Trumpet Concertos - Reinhold Friedrich
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Marche Slave - Marriner

Post by ramesh June 1, 2006 (6 of 10)
Edvin said:

There is a recording on Hungaroton from these artists dating from 1971 and 1972. No info about the quad status though. Also searched the Quadraphonic discography, but no Hungarotons are listed.

I think you're correct as to the dates. The piano concertos have tape hiss. I don't have a MC set-up, so cannot comment on that. Capriccio as usual give little or no information on the recordings. The Mandarin suite has no tape hiss, and sounds like very harsh early PCM digital.
The concertos sound like the impulsive young Kocsis. There is a lot of blurred orchestral detail, but there is the compensating spontaneity which makes it sound like a live performance. Compared to Pollini's performance with Abbado of 1 & 2, Kocsis does not have the same blend of virtuosity and poise; he has more of the first and less of the latter. However, as a recording, this SACD for the concertos is much more enjoyable than the airless DG CD. I don't much care for the Mandarin suite generally, but the Sony SACD of Boulez/NYPO is much better as a recording. The Marriner has a restricted dynamic range compared to this.

Post by jdaniel December 13, 2010 (7 of 10)
Just took a good listen to both the 2nd Piano Concerto and Mandarin Suite; amazing pieces of music. I have 3 other performances of the PC: Anda, Bishop and Kocsis/Fischer with Kocsis/Fischer on redbook Philips being my favorite. For Mandarin, Ormandy (EMI '79) and Dorati's Mercury.

I have to agree with others regarding sound. I wondered at first if my ears were slightly plugged, at least in 2 channel there isn't much of any bloom or richness to the sound. There is certainly a lean clarity which allows quite a bit of detail and strings are never harsh. Not a bit of hall to the mix.

Kocsis' performance is very similar to his earlier outing with Fischer and I humbly believe the pianist does a better job of screwing up the tension in the final movement's myriad gradual accelerandi with Fischer as well. Bass drum plays an important role as well in the final mov't and unfortunately the instrument as captured on this recent SACD sounds more like someone beating a rug on a clothes line...just dead. (For my tastes, a deficiency in Anda's and Bishop's as well.

I'm sticking with Kocsis Fischer on evil redbook.

Mandarin, while being initially fascinating in it's detail either because of lean recording, hall or interpretation just doesn't sound as malicious at points that Dorati and even Ormandy (on a very good day) gets across. For a specific example, listen to how Ormandy (or engineer)--just before the final chase-- fleshes out and balances the pre-chase "beat" right after the muted trombone solo...much better. The big climactic sections--and resonant, deep bass drum-- interact better with Ormandy's hall which gives a much bigger sense to the sound.

Post by krisjan December 14, 2010 (8 of 10)
jdaniel said:

I'm sticking with Kocsis Fischer on evil redbook.

You a vedy, vedy bad man JD (said while wagging finger)....

Post by Kal Rubinson December 14, 2010 (9 of 10)
Yeah. I was greatly disappointed by this one. Performances were only OK but the sound much less so.


Post by hiredfox December 14, 2010 (10 of 10)
Kocsis did a superb job of the PCs with Ivan Fischer on CD but it has not made it to SACD