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Danubia Orchestra Obuda Dances From Hungary (Apex)

Here's a nice little pendant to our recent survey of Hungarian Dances by Brahms and other musical matters Hungarian; it's also a way of squaring the circle, so to speak, because this is the real thing, launched with the wonderful clattering cimbalon sound of Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite, and a plethora of tangy, stamping dances from composers including Dohnanyi, Erkel, Weiner, Liszt and, of course, Bartok, represented by his Bear Dance, Swineherd's Dance and the grungy Dance Suite.

Playing by the Obuda Orchestra under Domonkos Heja is stylish, more refined and restrained than you might expect in this music, which is interesting: if this is authentic, and I see no reason why it shouldn't be, it raises a question about how we perceive and generalise about Hungarian music. Unfortunately, presentation on the disc, distributed through Warner Classics, is a bit bald: there's no programme booklet and a slightly clumsy attempt on the back cover to organise the dances by type.

Michael Tumelty

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