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.