Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin; Concerto for Orchestra

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: DG Galleria
WORKS: The Miraculous Mandarin; Concerto for Orchestra
PERFORMER: Boston SO/Seiji Ozawa; Rafael Kubelik
CATALOGUE NO: 437 247-2 ADD (1977/74)
Ozawa’s performance of The Miraculous Mandarin perfectly captures the nightmarish, fevered intensity of Bartók’s masterpiece. Like the music, the performance goes to extremes – I’ve never heard the waltz taken quite so slowly, nor has the ending ever sounded quite so delirious. What a pity it’s spoilt by the wiry recorded sound. Kubelik’s rendition of the Concerto for Orchestra is less remarkable, but better recorded. Ivan Hewett