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NX 0534

BARTOK: Wooden Prince (The)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2008


Artists:

Marin Alsop



Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Classical




Total Time - 53:39
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BELA BARTOK

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A fabol faragott kiralyfi (The Wooden Prince), BB 74 [14 track version]

 
1 Opening - 4:19
2 First Dance: Dance of the Princess in the Forest - 2:46
3 The Prince Meets the Fairy and Sees the Princess - 2:25
4 Second Dance: Dance of the Trees - 5:07
5 The Fairy Enchants the Stream - Third Dance: Dance of the Waves - 4:11
6 The Prince Builds a Wooden Prince - 4:29
7 The Princess Spies the Wooden Prince - 2:22
8 Fourth Dance: Dance of the Princess with the Wooden Prince - 5:44
9 The Prince is in Despair - The Fairy Comforts Him - 5:18
10 Great Apotheosis - 3:26
11 Fifth Dance: The Princess Prods and Encourages the Wooden Prince to Dance - 2:57
12 Sixth Dance: With an Alluring Dance, the Princess Tries to Appeal to the Prince - 1:39
13 Seventh Dance: Alarmed, the Princess Hurries After the Prince, but the Forest Keeps Her Back - 5:00
14 The Prince and Princess Embrace - Long Kiss - Slow Curtain 3:56
 Marin Alsop


The Wooden Prince is a fairy tale ballet with an original story by Bartók’s literary acquaintance Béla Balázs, who had also written the libretto to Bluebeard’s Castle (available on Naxos 8.660928). Though outwardly sunny in its subject matter, The Wooden Prince has a mystical side that may explain Bartók’s attraction to the story. The ballet’s opening pages have often been compared to the opening of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, and the majestic heart of the score lies in the glorious music Bartók wrote to accompany the prince’s apotheosis.

 "... Alsop does a very fine job of coaxing the maximum mystery and atmosphere from this underrated score, and given the fine audio quality, one can’t really quibble."

 
Tony Haywood - MusicWeb-International.com - June 2008

 "The Wooden Prince (1917) is an epic orchestral narrative: he himself described it as a ‘symphonic poem for dancing’. The bizarre story concerns a prince who falls in love with a princess in a magic forest and attracts her interest with a dancing puppet version of himself. Bartók’s music blends some very mild modernism with enormous, late-Romantic orchestral firepower—clearly this is a young master-composer at work—and the renowned Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the skilled hands of Marin Alsop brings an impressively strong response to his demands. The recorded acoustic is a touch over­spacious and boomy—but better that, in a huge score like this, than too tight."    ****

 
Malcolm Hayes - Classic FM - May 2008

"Marin Alsop is proving herself to be a catholic conductor, particularly of the European composers, and it is fair to say that she has not yet delivered a bad performance, be it of Orff, Brahms or now Bartok. Under her guidance, the Bournemouth orchestra is emerging as one of the finer British orchestra and this performance is testament to that. It is a full-blooded approach that positively glows."
 
Michael Southern - Pittwater Life - April 2008



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