Kodaly & Bartok: Orchestral Works
Sir Georg Solti
Catalogue No.

Georg Solti studied piano with Bartók and although they never developed a close personal relationship, Solti was always in awe of the composer’s dedication and intensity. Bartók’s music featured regularly in Solti’s concert programs and he recorded the ‘Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta’ and the ‘Dance Suite’ for Decca. This 1952 recording of the ‘Dance Suite’ with the London Philharmonic Orchestra was one of his earliest orchestral discs and the conductor’s instinctive sense of rhythm is ever-pervasive. There are also some delightful touches of humour to be encountered in these recordings, such as those in Kodály’s ‘Háry János’ Suite.

Kodály’s ‘Psalmus Hungaricus’  was the first work to bring him international recognition and it also brought him back into favour at home. It was composed to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of the cities of Óbuda, Buda and Pest to form modern-day Budapest. Solti revisited both the ‘Peacock Variations’ and ‘Psalmus Hungaricus’ 43 years after the present recording, in June 1997. This 1954 recording of Kodály’s choral masterpiece is performed in English.


CD 1
Háry János: Suite
Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song for Orchestra ‘The Peacock’
Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13

William McAlpine, tenor
London Philharmonic Choir

CD 2
Dances of Galánta

Dance Suite, BB86
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, BB114

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti

Recording information

Recording Producers: James Walker (Háry János, Peacock Variations, Psalmus Hungaricus, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta); John Culshaw (Dances of Galánta, Dance Suite)
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 11 November 1952 (Dances of Galánta), 12 November 1952 (Dance Suite), 26, 30 April & 3 May 1954 (Peacock Variations, Psalmus Hungaricus), 21–23 February 1955 (Háry János, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta)
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer


‘Orchestra and chorus shine in the Psalm … Georg Solti is to be congratulated on two such vital readings’ (Psalmus Hungaricus, Peacock Variations) Gramophone

‘The finale goes with an exhilarating swagger and the balance between the trumpets’ and horns’ imitative block chords is well maintainied’ (Kodály: Háry János) Gramophone