Kodály Orchestral Works

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Zoltán Kodály

Label: Decca

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 77

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 444 322-2DH

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Háry János Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Dances of Marosszék Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Variations on a Hungarian folksong, '(The) Peacock Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Dances from Galánta Zoltán Kodály, Composer
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Zoltán Kodály, Composer
The very opening of Hary Janos establishes the extra richness and resonance of this new Dutoit version even over the excellent discs I have listed for comparison. That is not just a question of recording quality in the famed acoustic of St Eustache, but of the quality of the playing of this magnificent orchestra. Dutoit characteristically conveys a sense of purpose in each piece, so that even the Chicago orchestra under Jarvi sound comparatively slack, not helped by a more distant, less detailed and less clearly focused recording. The Dorati disc, compiled from analogue recordings made in Marl in 1973, still sounds very impressive, though the CD transfer brings brightness that next to the new Dutoit seems rather aggressive, almost glaring. The obvious merit of the Dorati versions of each piece is that, with Hungarian players as well as Hungarian conductor, they convey an extra idiomatic flair in the rhythms. So in the fifth movement “Intermezzo” of Hary Janos the big tenutos in this very nationalistic piece are even more winningly timed than with Dutoit, warmly persuasive though he is. Against that, the instrumental solos are often more imaginatively played by the Montreal principals, as for example the saxophone in the final Funeral March section of the fourth movement, the “Battle and Defeat of Napoleon”.
The Peacock Variations benefit even more than Hary Janos from the opulence of the Montreal sound, most of all in the glorious climax of the finale, which with Dutoit has tremendous panache. In the Dorati version there may be a degree more wildness, but that climax is not nearly so rich. In the two sets of Dances Dutoit is not only warmly sympathetic in his springing of rhythms and moulding of phrases, he is more purposeful even than Dorati, while Jarvi and the Chicago orchestra in the Galanta Dances more than in the other works sound a little rough by comparison. Unlike Dutoit and Dorati he does not offer the Marosszek Dances as well.
For this apt and generous coupling of Kodaly’s four most popular orchestral pieces Dutoit stands as a clear first choice, though at mid price with keenly idiomatic performances the Dorati disc is still a strong contender.'

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