The op. 3 Suite is the last of Bartók’s works composed in the creative élan that followed the success of the Kossuth Symphony. Composed in 1910, Bartók’s Two Pictures for orchestra, draws on Debussy and folk music. Indeed, the title itself is a reference to Debussy’s famous piano cycle, Images. Dances of Transylvania is the orchestral version of Sonatina (1915). Its direct forerunner was very probably André Gertler’s transcription of the piece for violin and piano; at least Bartók’s legacy included a copy of Gertler’s transcription with Bartók’s revision and notes referring to orchestration. Finally, there is a powerful version of Bartok’s Hungarian Peasant Songs for Orchestra.
“Zoltán Kocsis has referred to his ongoing Bartók orchestral series as resembling a critical edition in CD format. He has a point, not least regarding the gorgeously idiomatic contribution of this fine Hungarian orchestra...The playing [in the Peasant Songs] scintillates”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.