Eduard van Beinum – Twentieth-Century Masterpieces
Eduard van Beinum
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4825563
Barcode
00028948255634
Format
2-CD
About

The recorded legacy of Eduard van Beinum has been extensively documented on Eloquence. Previous issues have revealed the Dutch conductor’s mastery of and sympathy for 20th-century composers such as Sibelius (442 9487) and Britten (480 2337). His clear-headed approach to any score, combined with the refinement of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, particularly suit the music of Bartók and Stravinsky represented here. At the same time, Van Beinum was renowned for a fastidious ear in the matter of orchestral colour – he could draw out a full palette of sonority in works such as the ‘Symphonie fantastique’ of Berlioz (also on Eloquence, 4825569) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s’ Scheherazade’ (4825511), a palette which is further tinted and enhanced by the twanging cimbalom in the uproarious suite from Kodály’s ‘Háry János’ to conclude this album.

In the repertoire of Willem Mengelberg, Van Beinum’s predecessor at the Concertgebouw, the enthusiasm for music of his own time did not extend much beyond that of his friend Gustav Mahler and native fellow-Dutch composers. It fell to the younger man when he finally took full charge of the orchestra in 1945 after sharing responsibility with Mengelberg for several years, to update its repertoire. He did this by casting his net across European modernism and its most distinctive voices. Folksong, whether real or invented, was central to the different idioms of the three composers here, from Stravinsky’s use of old Russian tunes in his sensational first commission for the Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev, ‘The Firebird’ of 1910 (Van Beinum conducts the suite made in 1919) to the unmistakably ‘Hungarian’ sound of both ‘Háry János’ (1926) and Bartok’s late Concerto for Orchestra of 1943.

The most adventurous music here may not even be heard in the archaic savagery of ‘The Rite of Spring’ (a recording that set new standards for precision in this complex score when first issued in 1948, still on 78s) but in the 1956 recording of another suite, extracted by from his magical, mechanical opera of 1914, Le Ross’ignol’ (The Nightingale).

 

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

CD 1
BÉLA BARTÓK
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz.106*                                                                          

IGOR STRAVINSKY
L’Oiseau de feu: Suite (1919 version)*                                                                                                  

CD 2  
IGOR STRAVINSKY
Le Sacre du printemps
Le Chant du Rossignol – Poème symphonique*                                                                                

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY
Háry János: Suite*                                                                                                                                          

Concertgebouworkest
Eduard van Beinum

*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA

Track previews
Hary Janos Suite: I. Prelude - The Fairy Tale Begins
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): IV. Round Dance of the Princesses
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": I. Introduction
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Sz. 106: II. Allegro
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Sz. 106: III. Adagio
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Sz. 106: IV. Allegro molto
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): I. Introduction
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): II. Dance of the Firebird
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): III. Variation of the Firebird
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): V. Infernal Dance of King Kaschei
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": VII. Le sage
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): VI. Berceuse
The Firebird Suite (1919 Version): VII. Finale
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: 1. Introduzione (Andante non troppo - Allegro vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: II. Giuoco della coppie (Allegretto scherzando)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: III. Elegia (Andante, non troppo)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: IV. Intermezzo interrotto (Allegretto)
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116: V. Finale (Pesante - Presto)
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": VIII. Danse de la terre
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": VI. Cortège du sage
Hary Janos Suite: II. Viennese Musical Clock
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": V. Action rituelle des ancêtres
Hary Janos Suite: III. Song
Hary Janos Suite: IV. The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon
Hary Janos Suite: V. Intermezzo
Hary Janos Suite: VI. Entrance of the Emperor and his Court
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": II. Cercles mysteriéux des adolescentes
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": III. Glorification d'élue
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": IV. Évocation des ancêtres
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 2 "Le sacrifice": VI. Danse sacrale: l'élue
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": V. Jeux des cités
Le chant du rossignol: I. Introduction - The Feast at the Emporer's Palace
Le chant du rossignol: II. Marche chinoise
Le chant du rossignol: III. Chant du rossignol
Le chant du rossignol: IV. Jeu du rossignol mécanique
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": I. Introduction
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": II. Les augures printaniers - Danses des adolescentes
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": III. Jeu du rapt
Le sacre du printemps, Pt. 1 "L'adoration de la terre": IV. Rondes printanières
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Sz. 106: I. Andante tranquillo
Recording information

Recording Producers: Victor Olof (Concerto for Orchestra, Le Sacre du Printemps); Jaap van Ginneken (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, L’Oiseau de feu, Le Chant du rossignol, Háry János)
Balance Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson (Concerto for Orchestra, Le Sacre du Printemps); Henk Jansen, Hans Lauterslager (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta); Henk Jansen, Bruno Taschner (L’Oiseau de feu, Háry János); Henk Jansen, Cees Huizinga (Le Chant du rossignol)
Recording Location: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 September 1946 (Le Sacre du printemps), 15 & 22 September 1948 (Concerto for Orchestra), 11–12 April 1956 (Háry János), 13–14 October 1955 (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta), 6 April 1956 (L’Oiseau de feu), 22 May 1956 (Le Chant du rossignol)
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer
Original LP Releases: Decca LXT 2529 (Concerto for Orchestra – first released as AK2042-46 in January 1949); Decca (A)K1727-30 (Le Sacre du printemps – 78-rpm release only, in March 1948); Philips A00353L (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Háry János Suite); Philips S06130R (Le Chant du rossignol; L’Oiseau de feu)

Reviews

‘An uncommonly sound performance and a truly brilliant recording, bringing out more of the score than I should have thought possible.’ Gramophone, March 1948 (Le Sacre du printemps)

‘A triumph of engineering and conducting. In no other version will be the cimbalom sound as clear.’ Gramophone, January 1957 (Háry János)

‘[Van Beinum] takes a thoroughly Romantic view of this music, giving a performance that emphasises its links with the Rimsky of ‘Coq d’Or’ and ‘Scheherazad’e … the beautiful playing of the Concertgebouw woodwind, and the recorded tone is warm to match.’ Gramophone, March 1958
(Le Chant du rossignol, L’Oiseau de feu)