Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dances (complete) [45:03]
Antonín DVORAK (1841-1904)
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 [29:20]
Alfred Brendel and Walter Klien (piano)
rec. 1957-1959, undisclosed location
REGIS RRC1397 [74:23]
This one’s pretty easy to sum up: vividly colorful music, sprightly lively playing that does it full justice, breezy speeds, fairly antiquated sound. The recordings from 1957-1959 - it doesn’t say which year is which piece - sound a bit like if you put a state-of-the-art new recording on your stereo, and then set up a microphone in your room and recorded that. There’s no hissing or popping - someone’s probably taken off the old surface noise - but it all sounds like an echo of piano playing.
As far as one-stop shopping goes, goodness is this convenient! Alfred Brendel and Walter Klien are just terrific, delivering the Brahms and Dvorák goods with aplomb and dance spirit. They omit a lot of repeats to cut down on the length for the old LPs, which is why this all fits on one CD, but they play like one mind.
If you need the Hungarian Dances and the first set of Slavonic Dances in their original piano versions, and you want stylish performances in a package that won’t do your wallet any major damage, this is it. That’s all there is to it.
If you’re in need of a budget-priced recording of these works, this is the obvious choice.
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