Thomas Dausgaard conducts BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on the third instalment of their acclaimed Bartók Orchestra Works series for Onyx Classics. The album, Bartók: The Wooden Prince, Divertimento, Romanian Folk Dancesis available on CD and for streaming and download from 29 March.

As with the previous volumes in this cycle, Thomas and BBCSSO recorded a version of a major work seldom heard. The rare and final version of the Wooden Prince is coupled with the masterful Divertimento and the Romanian Folk Dances.

Thomas writes:

“’From a musical point of view, but especially with regard to the stageworthiness of the work, these cuts represent an absolute improvement’ Bartók wrote to his publisher when he had finished his definitive revision of his Wooden Prince – cutting out much of the music relating to specific stage action, but also generally tightening the symphonic structure, making its large-scale mirror form appear clearer. Normally performed and recorded in its non-revised full-length version, it has been a joy now to follow Bartók’s inspired last wish revision of this mystic, vital, otherworldly, and grotesque fantasy music.

“The musical concentration of the revision has its natural consequence in Bartók’s subsequent works, including the Divertimento – an ironic title for a work, outwardly charming but burning inside with conflict. Both the Divertimento and the Wooden Prince seem to me to be existentially about how to listen to your heart – rather than falling in love with a wooden stick, or indeed with outward charm; in his most sublime music Bartók struggles with us to find what he longed for the most – real love. As an encore the suite of Romanian Folk Dances offers a glimpse into Bartók’s musical laboratory behind works like the Wooden Prince and Divertimento: his very personal transformation of folk music.”

Click here to learn more, listen and purchase.

And don’t miss Volumes 1 and 2 of Thomas Dausgaard and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed Bartók cycle:

Volume 1: Bartók: Suite No.1; Concerto for Orchestra

Volume 2: Bartók – The Miraculous Mandarin; Suite 2 Hungarian Peasant Songs