About Dance Suite: Hungary Philharmonic (Speakers Corner) by Bela Bartok:
Bartok composed his Dance Suite as the result of a commission from the city fathers of Budapest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the union of the two towns Pest and Buda. While on his travels, Bartok liked to collect old folksongs, and he used this opportunity to express the act of fraternity in his music in the manner of a hidden program. As he himself stated, he made use of Arabian, Hungarian and Romanian influences in the Suite, whose dances are linked together by means of ritornello-like interludes. Glossiness in order to achieve romantic tonal magnificence is uncalled for here. Dorati's conducting is oriented towards the archaic strength, and the dry and at times rustic nature of the Suite. He allows the orchestra to seethe, whistle and stamp, driven on by ever-changing rhythms which lend the work its impulsive urge.
Together with the highly expressive Portraits, Op. 5 and the two excerpts from Mikrokosmos, originally composed for the piano and heard here in an arrangement for orchestra by Tibor Serly, this compilation offers an excellent insight into Bartok's musical thoughts and works.
Recording: June 1958 at Grosser Saal of Vienna Konzerthaus by C.Robert Fine
Production: Wilma Cozart
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky“), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects – excluding the exception above – and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.