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Following their first album for Linn (Dvorák: Legends Op. 59, Czech Suite Op. 39), the WDR Sinfonieorchester and Cristian Macelaru pursue the same folk vein with two orchestral works by Béla Bartók. Based on a rather childish tale (prince, princess, fairies, and of course a happy ending!), the music of the ballet The Wooden Prince - recorded in full here - has all the ingredients of a masterpiece: masterful scoring for large forces, use of musical themes, an effortless amalgam of folk and late-Romantic elements. Composed in 1923 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the merging of the towns of Buda and Pest - alongside commissions by Ernö Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály - the century-old Dance Suite is a six-movement work that has become one of Bartók's best known compositions. Born in Timi?oara, a short distance from Hungaria, Macelaru can boast an unparalleled understanding of Bartók, as evident here.