Compact Discs

Bartók-Serly: Mikrokosmos Suite
Bartók: Dance Suite
Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin, Suite

New Symphony Orchestra of London
Tibor Serly and Franco Autori, conductors

Béla Bartók heard his complete work, The Miraculous Mandarin; a pantomime with music, performed only once in his life. With one exception, all further public performances were banned on account of the stage action (a woman and a man embrace each other). The concert suite, prepared by the composer, contains somewhat over half of the complete score. The Dance Suite was Béla Bartók’s contribution to a festive concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the unification of Pest, Buda and Óbuda into one city, Budapest, in 1923. Tibor Serly created the Mikrokosmos Suite using seven pieces from the piano series of the same title and one folk song Bartók had earlier set to piano. On this record he conducts this work as well as The Miraculous Mandarin Suite, Franco Autori conducts the Dance Suite.

BR #1301

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Bartók: The Wooden Prince
New Symphony Orchestra of London,
Walter Susskind, conductor

Music of the complete ballet to the libretto of Béla Balázs, with English translation of the complete libretto and notes.

BR #1308

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Bartók: Cantata Profana
Richard Lewis, tenor; Marko Rothmüller, baritone;
The New Symphony Orchestra of London and chorus;
Walter Susskind, conductor

Bartók: Four Slovak Folk Songs and eight songs from “27 Choruses’’

The Concert Choir, Margaret Hillis, conductor

Bartók: Viola Concerto

William Primrose viola;
The New Symphony Orchestra of London, Tibor Serly, conductor

Béla Bartók’s Cantata Profana, based on a Roumanian ballad about the enchantment of nine boys taught nothing but to hunt for stags. Consequently they turn into stags themselves, never to return to man’s imperfect world. Both the Slovak folk songs arranged for chorus, as well as the eight choruses include references deploring idle existence. The latter group are originally written by Bartók. The Viola Concerto, left in the form of first sketches when the composer died, is recorded here by the artist for whom the concerto was written; the orchestra is conducted by Tibor Serly, the composer’s friend, who did the first realization of the work from the sketches.

BR #1309

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Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle
Judith Hellwig, soprano; Endre Koreh, bass,
The New Symphony Orchestra of London, Walter Susskind, conductor

Opera in one act to the libretto of Béla Balázs, with English translation of the complete libretto and notes.

BR #1310

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Bartók: String Quartet No. 3
Alban Berg: String Quartet, Opus 3
Alfredo Casella: 5 Pieces for String Quartet
Igor Stravinsky: 3 Pieces for String Quartet

The New Music String Quartet

The Bartók and Stravinsky were the first LP record made by this fine quartet, and produced on this label. Recording was done under primitive conditions in a New York apartment, recorded originally on 16 inch discs. The Berg and Casella were recorded on tape in a school building in Peterborough, New Hampshire, while the school was closed for the summer, under superior acoustic conditions.

BR #1906

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Beethoven: String Quartets, Opus 14, No. 1 and Opus 59, No. 3
The New Music String Quartet

The Opus 14, No. 1 is better known as a piano sonata and is not even regarded as one of Beethoven’s quartets. He made the arrangement, partly to show that only the composer himself could tackle such a task, as so much needed to be altered for the new medium. Beethoven started to use the newly invented device called “metronome” in specifying tempi for his works. His tempo for the last movement of the Opus 59, No. 3 has been consistently suspected to be erroneous and is nearly always played much slower. Here the New Music Quartet performs the work at the directed tempo, just in case Beethoven did not make a mistake.

BR #1909

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Liszt: Variations on the Prelude by J. S. Bach, “Weinen, Klagen…”
Liszt: Weihnachtsbaum, excerpts
Bartók: Three Rondos; Sonatina; 8 pieces from For Children

Ilona Kabos, piano

All these works were recorded in New York’s Town Hall and the Liszt pieces were criticised when first released (mid 1950’s) as “the best piano record I have heard, bar none” (Edward Tatnall Canby, Saturday Review).

BR #1910

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A. Scarlatti: Quartet in D minor
Tartini: Quartet in D major
Boccherini: Quartet in A major
Franz Xaver Richter: Quartet in C major, Op. 5, No. 1
Karl Stamitz: Quartet in A major, Op. 14The New Music String QuartetBR #1911

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Bartók: Out of Doors, five piano pieces
Bartók: Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
Bartók: Sonata for Solo ViolinLeonid Hambro, piano; Stanley Drucker, clarinet; Robert Mann, violin

The cycle Out of Doors includes the Music of the Night, sounds of nature such as the singing of frogs; The Chase, obviously on horseback. The Contrasts was written after the composer heard jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman on a phonograph record. The Solo Violin Sonata is recorded here using the quarter tones in the last movement, as it was originally conceived.

BR #1916

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Bartók: Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Nos. 1 and 2
Robert Mann, violin; Leonid Hambro, piano

These sonatas, dedicated to the violinist Jelly Arányi (pronounced “Yelli”), were recorded in the late 1950’s. Only the first sonata was hitherto available on “long playing” discs.

BR #1922

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Folk Songs of Hungary
Leslie Chabay, tenor; Tibor Kozma, piano

Voice-piano arrangements of folk songs prepared  with piano accompaniment by Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók. Recorded in the 1950’s originally on two 12 inch vinyl disks.

BR #1914

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Hans Christian Andersen and Rudyard Kipling; two stories by each; music composed by Robert Mann, performed by Lucy Rowan; narrator; Robert Mann, violin; Leonid Hambro, piano.

BR #1928

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Cimbalom:  Aladár Rácz

The cimbalom is an old instrument in which strings are hit by beaters. As such, it may even be regarded as a predecessor of the piano. The player holds the beaters in his hands and strikes the strings. The instrument is frequently a component of Hungarian gypsy music bands at informal places of entertainment.

BR #1929

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Tibor Serly : Tibor Serly

Tibor Serly (1901-1978), a good friend of Béla Bartók, was a composer, conductor, and violinist. He orchestrated the last few measures of Béla Bartók’s 3rd piano concerto, and a few years later Bartók’s viola concerto, which was only in sketch form at the time of the composer’s death in 1945.

This CD contains two of Béla Bartók’s works conducted by Tibor Serly, and one composed by Tibor Serly for solo violin.

He arranged, with Béla Bartók’s permission, a series of pieces from Bartók’s Mikrokosmos suite.
Both of the suites from Mikrokosmos and the Miraculous Mandarin are available on this label #BR 1301

BR #1918

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Bartók: Bartók at the Piano

This CD has the same content as the 12 inch vinyl record #BR 903 Compared with the 78 rpm sources, some minor noises were removed. In the process of transferring the material to CD, it was determined that the original disc needed to be played at a slightly reduced speed, otherwise all the music sounded nearly a half step too high in pitch.
This CD contains all of the commercial recording known to have been made by Béla Bartók as of 1945.

BR #1903

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