Friday, May 8, 2015

Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Andor Földes)

Andor Földes, 1956
The Hungarian pianist Andor Földes (1913-1992) studied under the two towering musical figures of his time and place - Ernst von Dohnányi and Béla Bartók, and in fact became best known for his performances of the latter composer's works. He came to America around 1940, and would first have become known to American record-buyers through his role as accompanist to another compatriot, violinist Joseph Szigeti, in a series of prewar Columbia recordings, most notably sonatas by Schubert and Debussy. In 1947, Földes gave the New York première of Bartók's Second Concerto, and made the first recording of it two years later, in France:

Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 (1931)
Andor Földes, piano
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux conducted by Eugène Bigot
Recorded June 27 and 29, 1949
Polydor (France) A6.320 through A6.322, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 65.70 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 43.66 MB)

These French Polydor pressings, though looking lovely, turned out to be quite noisy. I did what I could with them with several different styli, but some sides still have an audible swish and in fact the right channel turned out to be unusable. Despite this, I still think it sounds better than the Vox LP which was the recording's only issue in the USA.


  1. Alternate links:



  2. Great posting Bryan. One of my favorite Bartok pieces in a recording that was unknown to me. Thank you! (The side swish is not that bad. What stylus size did you finally use?)

  3. Thanks, Bill - I'm very fond of this concerto as well. I think I used a 3.0 mil elliptical. I'm going on memory here because it was actually last October when I did the raw files!