PO Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin
Recorded as part of their critically praised Infernal Dance season, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen explore three contrasting works by Belá Bartók the chamber piece Contrasts, and the orchestral works Dance Suite and The Miraculous Mandarin. Contrasts is one of Béla Bartók s most imaginative forays into the world of chamber music. His only chamber work involving a woodwind instrument (for Piano, Clarinet and Violin), Contrasts originated in a commission from the American King of Swing , Benny Goodman. Composed to mark the 50th anniversary of Budapest in 1923, Bartok s Dance Suite is a rhapsodic collection of folk inspired tunes that marked a sonorous change in direction from the composer s more dissonant works up to that point. The ballet-pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin is raw, dangerous, exotic and elemental: using the rarely performed full ballet score it is frenzied music, percussive, sensuous and violent, telling a shocking story of desire and death.