Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dorati Conducts Bartok Divertimento and Mozart Symphony 31

This is apparently a relatively rare LP, a fact I discovered only when I searched online to gather information on it for this post. Having bought it in a Boston thrift store eons ago and then learned the Bartok piece from it, I have always had a great fondness for it. I developed quite early a deep and enduring love for Bartok and with that I discovered the special properties Dorati brought to the performance of his music. If there are later recordings by the same maestro with more polished orchestras and better recorded sound, nonetheless, this performance retains a visceral excitement that warrants its being better known. And the Minneapolis Symphony, graced by a series of brilliant conductors -- Ormandy, Mitropoulos, Dorati -- was an accomplished ensemble that communicated a sense of the committment of those masters to the many modern works it recorded under them.

The Mozart is stylish and beautifully performed, albeit with less than ideal recorded sound. It is apparently a performance much sought after, though.

The Bartok was apparently recorded in 1950 and was an original LP release (RCA LM 1750), coupled with Kodaly's Háry János Suite. This later release, LM 1185, sees it coupled with the Mozart, a recording about which I still have almost no information.

Link to folder with all FLAC and MP3 files


  1. Thank you so much for the information about these recordings. I confess to being a less than skilled discographer (sic), though I try, and help on the points where I fall down is always welcome. I'm glad you liked the post.

  2. Thanks for the information about these recordings. I am a less than skilled discographer (sic), so help when I get stuck is very welcome. Glad you liked the post.

  3. Thanks so much for this music! I downloaded it and the Gertler Sonata LP, as well as the Berg Concerto. I have not heard the Bartoks before, but I have the Berg as an ancient cassette dub from an old Music and Arts (I think) LP and figure this will sound tons better.
    Good luck and best wishes - I'll be checking your blog often!
    -Greg from SF

  4. Those Gertler/Farnardi performances of the sonatas are among my favorite Bartok recordings, and they remain unissued on CD, as far as know, probably because he re-recorded them with his wife, the pianist, Diane Anderson. Those are the ones on the Supraphon set. Let me know how the Berg holds up to your present recording. It's an important performance to me, and I tried to make it right.

  5. I would suspect that the LM-1185 issue was the original and the LM-1750 a reissue. RCA began their LP series with LM-1001 and numbered from there until a few years later when they skipped from where they were (around the middle of the LM-1200s) to restart the numbers at LM-1700. I dont think they would have gone back to create new entries in the old series, once they had been issuing in the 1700 range. I never understood the rationale for the jump in numbers or to the reason for selecting 1700 to restart.