Kodály: Janos/Kertesz

Review by: David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 8

Istvan Kertesz recorded a lively, more or less complete Háry János in 1969 with Peter Ustinov, last available as a Decca twofer, after having made this version of the standard suite five years previously. It’s a fine, genuinely enjoyable performance, well played but not quite as brilliantly grotesque as Fricsay’s (DG), as sonically impressive as Fischer’s recent one on Philips, or as precise as Szell’s (CBS). Similarly, for the ultimate Dances of Galánta (though again this one’s really good) you’ve got to hear Ormandy on Sony; but Kertesz’s recording of the Peacock Variations is marvelous, and features some very lovely woodwind playing from the principals of the LSO. Generally fine, slightly dry sound makes this an excellent value even in a crowded field, and although you might do marginally better, it’s really a very close call–not worth worrying about unless you’re really into the game of comparisons. [7/5/2001]



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: See Review

ZOLTAN KODÁLY - Háry János; Dances of Galánta; Peacock Variations


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