BARTÓK: THE WOODEN PRINCE

Bournemouth SO/Marin Al­sop

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - MICHAEL DER­VAN

Naxos 8.570534 The Wooden Prince, a “danc­ing­play in one act,” is the Cin­derella among Bartók’s stage works. Its im­pres­sion­is­tic world lacks the wrench­ing pathos of the opera Blue­beard’s Cas­tle and the sleazy men­ace of the pan­tomime The Mirac­u­lous Man­darin. The Wooden Prince is a fairy­tale set in a for­est, where a princess falls in love with a prince’s pup­pet be­fore fall­ing for the prince him­self. And, yes, there’s a ma­nip­u­la­tive fairy at work in the for­est. Marin Al­sop re­sponds warmly to the lush or­ches­tral colour­ing, and finds plenty of evoca­tive del­i­cacy and sweet­ness in the mu­sic. Bartók’s for­est does, how­ever, seethe a lit­tle more threat­en­ingly at times than Al­sop al­lows in a per­for­mance which con­cen­trates on the broad brush strokes rather than sharper def­i­ni­tion. www.naxos.com

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