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The Wooden Prince Naxos 8.570534


Composer(s):


Bartok, Bela


Conductor(s):


Alsop, Marin


Orchestra(s):


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Wooden Prince is a fairy tale ballet with an original story by
Bartók's literary acquaintance Béla Balázs, who had also written the
libretto to Bluebeard's Castle (available on Naxos 8.660928). Though
outwardly sunny in its subject matter, The Wooden Prince has a mystical side
that may explain Bartók's attraction to the story. The ballet's opening
pages have often been compared to the opening of Wagner's Das Rheingold, and
the majestic heart of the score lies in the glorious music Bartók wrote to
accompany the prince's apot­heosi­s.

The Wooden Prince Review

It's colorful enough and you can dance to it, but Marin Alsop and the
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's 2008 r­­ecording of Bartók's The Wooden
Prince is overall pretty dull. It's not that Alsop doesn't grasp the score. She
clearly knows how to accent the rhythms and how to keep the tempos moving in the
ballet's seven big dances. But the rhythms and dances sound deracinated with
nothing of the big Hungarian beat that drives Antal Dorati's classic
1957 Mercury recording with the London Symphony Orchestra. In the “Fourth
Dance,” Alsop's flowing tempo misses the grotesque character of the music,
which Dorati's headlong gallop catches to perfection. And it's certainly not
that the Bournemouth Symphony can't play the notes. A finely polished orchestra
since the '60s, the southern England band has a tight ensemble with

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  • Store location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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