Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bartok/Berg
LABELS: Mercury
WORKS: Bluebeard’s Castle; Wozzeck (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Olga Szönyi, Mihály Székely, Helga Pilarczyk; LSO/Antal Dorati
CATALOGUE NO: 434 325-2 ADD (1961/62)
Székely, the magnificent Bluebeard here, was a veteran of the part, and both he and Dorati knew Bartók well. Though Olga Szönyi, as Judith, is somewhat unsympathetic in this recording, Dorati obtains playing of searing intensity from the London Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps Kertesz (Decca) and Boulez (CBS) have the edge, but the latter is no longer available. The Wozzeck excerpts provide a substantial filler, and the ‘Mercury Living Presence’ recordings have survived 30 years well. It’s a great pity there are no librettos. Keith Potter