Bartok/Janacek: The Miraculous Mandarin; Two Portraits; Sinfonietta

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COMPOSERS: Bartok/Janacek
LABELS: DG Masters
WORKS: The Miraculous Mandarin; Two Portraits; Sinfonietta
PERFORMER: Shlomo Mintz (violin)Ambrosian Singers, LSO; Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 445 501-2 DDD (1983/89)
Claudio Abbado’s 1982 Mandarin is the real thing: by turns sinister, ugly, exhilarating and downright violent. The Kingsway Hall recording captures all the detail of this magnificently intricate score, and the London Symphony Orchestra excels itself.


The Janácek Sinfonietta, one of the great celebratory scores of the century, is an odd bedfellow. This 1987 Berlin Philharmonic performance is urgent and disciplined; all it lacks is a full sense of grandeur in the finale. Stephen Maddock