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Thread: Bartok wooden prince vs miraculeous mandarin suite?

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    Senior Member deprofundis's Avatar
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    Default Bartok wooden prince vs miraculeous mandarin suite?

    If you would have to choose a ballet by bartok which one would you discarded...
    You know what i can choose between these two masterwork.

    Yes the miraculeous mandarin is a force majeure to be reckon whit, but the wooden prince
    is wagnerian in way or remind me of Wagner chromatism.

    The story goes i had many lisen of miraculeous mandarin and eventually i discover afterward the wooden prince that has somesort of fairy tale magic occuring in the work,in others word the ambience is killer.

    Did i mention wooden prince intro is probably one of the top ten best intro song ever, this top ten include Schoenberg gurrelieder intro.But let's stay in the subject.

    But the miraculeous mandarin suite remain more focus?

    So out of tedious details i would choose the last affored mention ballet.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    MM is far more the complete package to me - the plot has a touch of surreal kinkiness about it which was spot-on for the zeitgeist of the Roaring '20s (even though it was written the decade before) and BB's music effortlessly matches the story's topicality and changes of pace.

    The music for WP - composed the decade before in a much broader, late Romantic style - is sufficiently enjoyable in its own right, which is just as well seeing the ultra-corny plot featuring stock characters of prince, princess and evil fairy is a total turkey and was already passé by then.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    Second the above. Mandarin makes a big impression on me, and I have several recordings of it--2 by Dorati, one each by Marin Alsop, Boulez and Ivan Fischer. Not only is the plot more compelling and contemporary, but the music still sems brash and contemporary sounding, not bad for a piece approaching 100 years of age.
    Wooden Prince sounds more late 19th Century, like Bartok's Kossuth Symphony. It's ok but it doesn't really say 'Bartok' to me.

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    I like them both, but, if I really had to choose, I'd go with the MM. I like how elgars ghost puts it

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deprofundis View Post
    the wooden prince
    reminds somewhat of The Nutcracker.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I need a better recording of Mandarin. I just put on my Philips CD by Ivan Fischer, and the sound is tinny and flat. That Dorati/Kubelik CD looks good, but it's mono sound.
    Last edited by starthrower; Aug-10-2015 at 00:12.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    I prefer The Miraculous Mandarin by a wide margin. The Wooden Prince is one of the few works by Bartok that really doesn't do much for me.

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    Senior Member manyene's Avatar
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    The Wooden Prince is entirely unmemorable, in contrast to MM

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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I need a better recording of Mandarin. I just put on my Philips CD by Ivan Fischer, and the sound is tinny and flat. That Dorati/Kubelik CD looks good, but it's mono sound.
    Martinon/Chicago, from 4/67....amazing. best I've ever heard in a highly competitive field. Great drive, violence, ferocity, wonderful clarinet section work, low brass is top drawer all the way...
    Kertesz/CSO [4/68 - [archival set - CSO -1st 100 Years] is also excellent, very similar to Martinon. Martinon takes the final section just a tad slower, which enables the orchestra to deliver a really ferocious "bite" to the sound and driving rhythm. both very fine.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heck148 View Post
    martinon/chicago, from 4/67....amazing. Great drive, violence, ferocity
    This!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by Vasks; Nov-04-2016 at 16:11.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Solti should also be added into the mix.

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