Houston Symphony Orchestra - Bartók: The Wooden Prince; Stravinsky: Le Baiser de la fée

Houston Symphony Orchestra - Bartók: The Wooden Prince; Stravinsky: Le Baiser de la fée
Genre: Classical
Duration: 01:16:13
Artist: Houston Symphony Orchestra
Album: Bartók: The Wooden Prince; Stravinsky: Le Baiser de la fée
Release Date: 2005
Styles: Ballet, Orchestral

A perfectly acceptable recording by a perfectly respectable conductor leading a perfectly reputable orchestra, this disc will give much pleasure to fans of Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony. Graf is a more than able German conductor who knows his way around an orchestra, knowing how to balance a sonority, how to shape a phrase, how to control a tempo, and how to manage an ensemble. Houston is a more than competent orchestra with a strong string section, a colorful wind section, a brilliant brass section, and a precise and powerful percussion section.

Together, Graf and Houston turn in a character-laden version of Stravinsky's Divertimento from his ballet Le baiser de la fée with a fine sense of rhythm and an energetic version of Bartók's ballet The Wooden Prince with an outstanding sense of form. For listeners unfamiliar with the music, these performances will certainly satisfy. For listeners already familiar with the scores, these performances, although not effacing memories of Stravinsky's recording of the complete Le baiser de la fée with the Cleveland Symphony or Dorati's recording of The Wooden Prince with the London Symphony, will surely entertain. Koch's sound is a bit distant, a tad gray, and a little shallow.

Divertimento, symphonic suite for orchestra from the ballet The Fairy's Kiss
Sinfonia: Andante; Allegro sostenutoHouston Symphony Orchestra6:05
Danses suisses: Tempo giustoHouston Symphony Orchestra6:54
Scherzo: Moderato; Allegretto graziosoHouston Symphony Orchestra3:39
Pas de deux: AdagioHouston Symphony Orchestra3:23
Pas de deux: Variation: Allegretto graziosoHouston Symphony Orchestra1:24
Pas de deux: Coda: PrestoHouston Symphony Orchestra2:22
The Wooden Prince (A fából faragott királyfi), ballet in 1 act for orchestra, Sz. 60, BB 74 (Op. 13)
IntroductionHouston Symphony Orchestra4:05
The Appearance of the PrincessHouston Symphony Orchestra3:07
The Prince approaches the PrincessHouston Symphony Orchestra2:44
Dance of the TreesHouston Symphony Orchestra5:20
Dance of the WavesHouston Symphony Orchestra3:52
The Prince creates the Wooden PrinceHouston Symphony Orchestra4:50
The Princess dances with the Wooden PrinceHouston Symphony Orchestra7:55
The Prince's despairHouston Symphony Orchestra3:08
The Prince's consolation and glorificationHouston Symphony Orchestra5:05
The Princess returns with the Wooden PrinceHouston Symphony Orchestra4:13
The forest stops the PrincessHouston Symphony Orchestra3:46
Consolation of the Princess and ApotheosisHouston Symphony Orchestra4:21

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