The National Philharmonic Orchestra's first SACD (Super Audio CD) is being enthusiastically received in America as well
One hundred and twenty three year's ago on this day in 1881, Béla Bartók was born. Paying homage to this towering figure of 20th century music history is the new, state of the art SACD format sound carrier (Super Audio CD), on which Bartók's symphonic works (Concerto, Dance Suite, Hungarian Peasant Songs) can be heard performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zoltán Kocsis. It has been issued by Hungaroton Classics.
“The chances of survival for Hungaroton and other similar sized independent record companies lie in the publication of hitherto unrecorded repertoire. It comes as a happy surprise that we have released Bartók's most well known orchestral works” – responded Máté Hollós, manager of Hungaroton Classics, to our question. Bartók has by today become such standard repertoire as Liszt did a hundred years earlier and we cannot now argue that Hungarian are more faithful interpreters. However, according to Máté Hollós “We must still recognise when we have an artist – Zoltán Kocsis – who is an epoch making interpreter of Bartók's oeuvre.” The National Philharmonic Orchestra's recording was released as a super audio SACD. This five channel technology conjures up for the listener the acoustics of the concert hall: the sound is obtained not frontally but spread and reverberating in space. It is enjoyable when heard on a traditional CD but if someone purchases SACD equipment, this same disc will embrace them with so-called surround technology. “It is a technical step forwards, and is the very first SACD that Hungaroton has produced. We intend to release Zoltán Kocsis's other orchestral Bartók recordings on super audio CDs too”, says Máté Hollós.
The editor-in-chief of America's largest classical music portal (www.classicstoday.com) David Hurwitz, has written a very positive review of the new Bartók album. “Zoltán Kocsis, already acclaimed as perhaps the finest Bartók pianist alive, proves equally adept as a conductor … One of the problems with Hungarian performances of Bartók historically has been that the orchestras were less than first rate. Not here. If you love Bartók, then you simply have to own this, one of the finest examples in recent years,” writes Hurwitz, who awards the maximum ten points for both artistic quality and sound technology. But in his opinion, this album “is an eleven!”