Blu-ray Discs

Igor Feodorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971)

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Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes

Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

Ekaterina Kondaurova (Firebird), Ilya Kuznetsov (Ivan Tsarevich), Marianna Pavlova (The Princess) & Vladimir Ponomarev (Kachtcheï the Immortal)

The Rite of Spring

Alexandra Iosifidi (The Chosen One), Elena Bazhenova (300-Year-Old Woman) & Vladimir Ponomarev (Shaman)

The Firebird:

Choreography & libretto: Michel Fokine (1910)

reconstruction Isabelle Fokine, Andris Liepa;

Set & costume design:Anna & Anatoly Nezhny after original sketches by Alexander Golovin, Léon Bakst & Michel Fokine

The Rite of Spring

Choreography after Vaslav Nijinsky (1913)

Scene plan: Igor Stravinsky & Nicholas Roerich, reconstructed and staged by Millicent Hodson;

Set and costume design: Nicholas Roerich, reconstructed and supervised by Kenneth Archer; Lighting: Vladimir Lukin


Subtitles: Fr, Eng, Booklet: 16 pages, Fr, Eng, Ger

Filmed in High Definition at the Mariinsky Theatre June 2008

Duration: 2h03'

Bonus: documentary 1909-2009 Ballets Russes & interviews with Millicent Hodson & Kenneth Archer (38')

Today it is difficult to imagine the impact on audiences at the beginning of the 20th century of Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) and his Ballets Russes. In celebration of the debut of the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909, this wonderful Stravinsky evening at the Mariinsky Theatre showcases the original Nijinsky version of The Rite of Spring for the first time on DVD along with The Firebird, both conducted by Valery Gergiev. Thanks to the relentless work of Millicent Hodson, Nijinsky's original choreography has now been recreated, performed by the lead dancers and Ballet Company of the Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Valery Geriev, known the world over for his interpretation of Stravinsky's works.

“For those who only know the black-and-white pictures of the original production of The Rite of Spring, the colours of Roerich's designs are a revelation, while the vision of Nijinksy's revolutionary choreography can be experienced in its full glory, allowing a proper appraisal of his vision. The three principals are mesmerising... it is the company as a whole that thrills. Add Gergiev's ability to unleash the searing power of the music, not forgetting two useful bonus features, and the result is an exhilarating feast for eyes and ears.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

27th July 2009

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC441

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$30.25

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Stravinsky in Hollywood

Stravinsky in Hollywood

A Film by Marco Capalbo


STRAVINSKY IN HOLLYWOOD explores the short-lived film career of this legendary composer, it is the story of his trials and tribulations with the Hollywood Studios, the story of an “old school” European artist knocking heads with the brash New World. Igor Stravinsky lived in the heart of Hollywood from 1939 until shortly before his death in 1971. He came expecting to find lucrative work composing for the movies. The film uses a combination of existing archival footage (some of it never before seen), interviews with Stravinsky and his assistant Robert Craft.

The documentary includes scenes from several big studio films of the 40s brought together for the first time with the music which Stravinsky wrote for them.

SOUND FORMAT Blu-ray: PCM Stereo

PICTURE 16:9, HD

SUBTITLES: English, German (voice over and subtitles)

BOOKLET: E, G, F

TOTAL RUNNING TIME. 54 MINS

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C Major - 716404

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Stravinsky: L'Histoire du Soldat

Stravinsky: L'Histoire du Soldat


Nacho Duato (Soldier), Aryeh Weiner (Devil), Gerald Tibbs (Alter Ego), Teresina Mosco (Mother), Fiona Lummis (Fiancée), Lionel Hoche (Friend of the Soldier) & Karin Heyninck (Princess)

Nederlands Dans Theater, David Porcelijn

Choreography by Jirí Kylián

Jirí Kylián feels a great affinity for Stravinsky, who, like himself, was forced to leave his homeland. He describes the composer’s music drama, L’Histoire du soldat, as a “surrealistic fairy tale for grown-up children”. His version of the piece uses the original French version libretto by Charles Ferdinand Ramuz. With scenery and costumes by John MacFarlane, this studio recording features Nacho Duato as the soldier who sells his soul to the Devil for wealth, but is forced to wander the world.

The onset of the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917 had drastic consequences for Stravinsky in his Swiss exile: his property was confiscated, and he the reby lost the rights to his works and the associated income, leaving him in a situation which isolated him as an artist. Stravinsky and his librettist for L’Histoire du soldat, Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, had the idea of “founding a travelling theatre which, with as little funding as possible, could be moved easily from place to place and perform in small meeting places.” It involved a street ballad-like series of scenes about a pact between a soldier and the devil which was “to be read, played and danced”. The associated new work, with its diversity, its structure, the switching between narration, action, mime and dance, and its elements from tango, English Waltz and Ragtime, could not have been categorized under any genre which existed at the time. It was premiered on 28 September 1918 and in this version is brilliantly reinterpreted by the Nederlands Dans Theater.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Subtitle Languages: FR (Original Language), GB, DE

Running Time: 51 mins

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

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Arthaus Musik - 108134

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Stravinsky: The Firebird

Stravinsky: The Firebird

A Ballet choreographed by James Kudelka


Greta Hodgkinson, Aleksandar Antonijevic (Prince Ivan), Rebekah Rimsay (Princess Vasilisa) & Rex Harrington (Kastchei the Demon)

The Kirov Orchestra & National Ballet of Canada, Valery Gergiev

The Firebird is an exciting one-hour dance special based on the mystical Russian folk tale of enchantment and love, and is set to Stravinsky’s fantastical ballet score.

This adaption of James Kudelka’s masterpiece for the stage, combines classical ballet with magical visual effects.

Kudelka’s choreography is by turns elegant, virtuosic but always passionate and musically evocative.

The Firebird features the top dancers from the internationally renowned National Ballet of Canada and the soloists, including the great Greta Hodgkinson (nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2000) as the main role, Aleksandar Antonijevic as Prince Ivan, Rebekah Rimsay as Princess Vasilisa, and the unforgettable Rex Harrington as Kastchei the Demon.

Music performed by The Kirov Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Packed in a luxury digipak

Picture format Blu-ray Disc: 1080/60i Full-HD – 16:9

Sound format Blu-ray Disc: PCM Stereo

Region code: All (worldwide)

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 53 mins

German FSK: 0

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EuroArts - 2061084

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$35.50

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Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Recorded live at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels on 26th & 28th April 2007.


Andrew Kennedy (Tom Rakewell), Laura Claycomb (Anne Trulove), William Shimell (Nick Shadow), Julianne Young (Mother Goose), Dagmar Peckova (Baba the Turk), Darren Jeffery (Trulove), Donal J. Byrne (Sellem)

Symphony Orchestra & Chorus of la Monnaie de Munt, Kazushi Ono (conductor) & Robert Lepage (stage director)

Note: This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players.

Stravinsky’s masterwork The Rake’s Progress, created for La Fenice in Venice in 1951, is based on a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, inspired by a series of 18th century prints by William Hogarth. This amazing production from La Monnaie–De Munt ‘jazzifies’ the setting by replacing Hogarth’s sin city, London, with 1950s Las Vegas, turning it into a glittering, cinematic gallery of tableaux vivants inspired by the early days of television. Staged by one of the most visionary theatre directors of our age, the Québécois Robert Lepage, the neo-classical morality tale truly becomes a grand spectacle. Lepage’s visual imagination works its magic superbly, while Kazushi Ono’s energetic musical direction drives the sparkling ensemble to exhilarating heights.

Bonus material:

Interview with stage director Robert Lepage

Behind the scenes & rehearsal footage

Photo gallery

Cast gallery & illustrated synopsis

‘Lepage has forged a reputation as one of the most visionary theatre directors of our age… The Rake’s Progress is heading our way, and it promises to be a highlight of the 2007/8 season.’ Sunday Times

PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i
LENGTH: 74 Mins
SOUND: 2.0 & 5.0 PCM
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

“It seems perverse to place it in Las Vegas in the 1950s, as Robert Lepage has done, with stetsons, risqué revue turns and black-and-white TV … Yet when we arrive at the graveyard scene, and then the incredibly moving mad scene in Bedlam, it is all so wonderful that I felt it had been worth persevering. Musically, it is first-rate.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2008 ****

“Auden first met Stravinsky to discuss the libretto of The Rake's Progress in Hollywood in 1947, and Robert Lepage winds forward his 'clock of fashion' to the time and place of the opera's composition. Hogarth's Gin Alley runs into Easy Street, populated by Vegas hookers, dancers and chancers. The composer-sanctioned division into two halves rather than three acts is a complementary move from the conventions of the opera house to the theater, and what a show we have. Madam, or rather Mother Goose (Julianne Young, bearing a disconcerting resemblance to Julianne Moore), lures the naive Tom onto a heart-shaped satin bed, and the pair literally sink into its folds – before our hero re-emerges, worldly wise and weary, in front of a blow-up Winnebago, and banishes ennui not with mother's ruin but a line or two of Colombia's finest. Andrew Kennedy takes all this in his stride, and his always fresh, appealing tenor ensures we retain our sympathy through Tom's piteous downfall from indolence to insanity, far more so than we are likely to for his operatic model, Ferrando. From Nick Shadow's first entrance under the shade of a Dallas derrick to his flame-capped Broadway nemesis, the parallels are not with Dons Alfonso or Giovanni but rather Alberich. This is largely thanks to William Shimell's ironblack baritone and rasping wit, though lines such as 'That man alone is free who chooses what to will and wills his choice as destiny' certainly strike a Wagnerian ring of mania. The recorded balance is slightly unfavourable to Laura Claycomb in 'I go to him': this is her 'Abscheulicher', but she is no Leonora, and is happiest vocally when she is dramatically downcast. The two crucial scenes, either side of the interval, between her, Tom and Dagmar Pecková's show-stealing Baba are models of ensemble writing and direction, pulling between operatic naturalism and Stravinsky's preferred realism just as Tom is torn between one woman and the other – and all in front of a chorus who change from waltz-time party guests to painfully well observed inhabitants of Bedlam with phenomenal assurance. Doubtless Kazushi Ono must take credit for some slickly cinematic pacing. This is a show to be seen and, down to the witty, period and silent menu screens, a model of its kind.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“This is a show to be seen - Covent Garden is staging it in July - and, down to the witty, period and silent menu screens, a model of its kind.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2008

“Lepage has forged a reputation as one of the most visionary theatre directors of our age… The Rake’s Progress is heading our way, and it promises to be a highlight of the 2007/8 season.” Sunday Times

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Opus Arte - OABD7038D

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Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Recorded live at the Glyndebourne Opera House, 18 & 19 December, 2010


Miah Persson (Anne Trulove), Topi Lehtipuu (Tom Rakewell), Clive Bayley (Father Trulove), Matthew Rose (Nick Shadow), Susan Gorton (Mother Goose), Elena Manistina (Baba the Turk) & Graham Clark (Sellem)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) & John Cox (director)

In this celebrated Glyndebourne Festival production, David Hockney’s designs for director John Cox reinterpret the Hogarth etchings that inspired the opera’s libretto, written for Stravinsky by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman.

In 2010, this revival under Glyndebourne’s Music Director, Vladimir Jurowski, captured the opera’s neo-classical spirit and its juxtaposition of whimsy, cynicism and compassion, prompting the Financial Times to call it, ‘‘as enjoyable a performance of Stravinsky’s opera as any that has come along".

Extra features:

Documentary includes interview with David Hockney Introduction to the Rakes’s Progress Running time 150 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES

“Full of colour and light, and brimming with wit, this is a production that lifts the performers...Lehtipuu conveys [Tom's] fresh-faced innocence, making his gradual demise all the more heart-breaking. Bass Matthew Rose is not the most chilling Nick Shadow, but is all the more believable as an apparently supportive, and likeable, friend to Tom, until the veil drops...[Persson] underpins [Anne's] heartfelt love with a steely determination...An absolute triumph.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2012 *****

“It is hard to imagine a Tom Rakewell who looks the part better than the lanky, almost adolescent Topi Lehtipuu, his wide-eyed innocence an open invitation to corruption, and he sings the role with elegance. Miah Persson is almost his equal...The combination of Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra ensures crisp ensemble of the highest quality.”” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

“Star of the show - as she is so often - is Miah Persson, who turns out to be a radiant and steadfast Anne...[Lehtipuu] manages to give us a Tom whoe fundamentally endearing qualities shine through, even when he's at his most cocky...Matthew Rose's portrayal of Nick Shadow has been criticized in some quarters for its lack of venom, but I find that the mellifluous coating to his malevolence only adds to the effect.” International Record Review, February 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - January 2012

Blu-ray Disc

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OAB7094D

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring


Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony present a special Bluray re-issue of their groundbreaking episode of Rite of Spring from the Keeping Score series, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky's revolutionary ballet score, presented in stunning Dolby TrueHD 96k upsampled audio.

“Funny thing about revolutions, you never know when or where they’re gonna start. They can be social or political or artistic, and very often it's these artistic or cultural revolutions, revolutions in taste, really, that seem to predict other violent changes in society. That's exactly the case with the Rite of Spring.” With these words Michael Tilson Thomas opens the groundbreaking episode from the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score series.

In 1913, with Europe on the brink of war, a fashionable Parisian audience reacted with hostile frenzy to the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s new work. The ballet’s shocking music and dance provoked a riot that evening and was soon recognised as perhaps the most revolutionary piece of the 20th century, a reputation it maintains to this day.

In this Blu-ray, MTT and SFS take you from the salons of St. Petersburg to the villages where Stravinsky found inspiration in the earthy power of Russian folk music and dance.

MTT then retraces Stravinsky's journey to the cultural crossroads of pre-war Paris. There, in collaboration with the great impresario Diaghilev and his star dancer Nijinsky, Stravinsky developed the shocking, erotic, and violent evocation of pagan Russia that became Rite of Spring.

Presented for the first time on Blu-ray disc, Keeping Score: Stravinsky features a thought provoking documentary and a brilliant live concert performance of Rite of Spring along with music from The Firebird. The documentary is filmed in standard-definition 16:9 widescreen, with concert performances filmed in high-definition 16:9 widescreen, and presented in optional 5.1 surround sound with Dolby TrueHD 96k upsampling.

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SFS Media - SFS0066

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Balanchine - Jewels

Balanchine - Jewels

Recorded live at the Opéra national de Paris, October & November 2005.


excerpts from:

Fauré:

Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80

Shylock Op. 57

Stravinsky:

Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 'Polish'


Aurélie Dupont, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Agnès Letestu, Clairemarie Osta, Laëtitia Pujol, Jean-Guillaume Bart, Kader Belarbi & Mathieu Ganio

Ballet de L’Opéra national de Paris & Orchestre de L’Opéra national de Paris, Paul Connelly (musical director)

Choreography: George Balanchine

Set & costume design: Christian Lacroix

In 2000, seventeen years after George Balanchine’s death, a rare and precious ballet arrived at the Paris Opéra: Jewels, a work first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1967. This alluring, abstract ballet, a triptych in which each piece sparkles with the brilliance of a precious stone, is a lyric tribute to women and to the capital cities of the great dance schools. Couturier, painter and craftsman Christian Lacroix created the glorious costumes and sets which, together with the outstanding performances of the dancers and the sensitive musical direction of Paul Connelly, results in a celebration of sumptuous splendour.

Note: This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players

PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i
LENGTH: 162 Mins
SOUND: 2.0 & 5.0 PCM AUDIO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“A gem of dazzling brilliance” The Independent

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Opus Arte - OABD7011D

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Dances & Dreams: Gala from Berlin 2011

Dances & Dreams: Gala from Berlin 2011

Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonic, 31 December 2011


Brahms:

Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor

Dvorak:

Slavonic Dance No. 1 in C Major, Op. 46 No. 1

Grieg:

Symphonic Dance, Op. 64 No. 2

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Evgeny Kissin (piano)

Ravel:

Alborada del gracioso (orchestral version)

Strauss, R:

Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils

Stravinsky:

The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei

Berceuse from The Firebird

Finale from The Firebird


In 2011 the Berliner Philharmoniker and their musical director Sir Simon Rattle welcomed in the New Year with a gala concert programmed with ‘Dances & Dreams’.

Spinetingling and inspiring performances of music by Dvořák, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky and Brahms are complemented by the extraordinary talent of the multi-awarded Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. Kissin’s musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have placed him at the forefront of today’s pianists, and his passionate performance of the renowned Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg is mesmerizing.

Kissin's musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have placed him at the forefront of today's pianists.

Picture format: 1080i Full HD 16:9

Sound formats: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio Surround

Region code: All (worldwide)

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 89 mins

German FSK: 0

“Where Rattle and company radiate love, Kissin gives us duty. Still, nothing else casts a chill. Hearing the orchestra's splendours, observing the smiles and eye contact, you'd never believe the past stories of turbulence between musicians and conductor...The Blu-ray edition, as always, is markedly crisper” BBC Music Magazine, January 2013 ****

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 2058724

(Blu-ray)

$35.50

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Europakonzert 1995 from Florence

Europakonzert 1995 from Florence


Beethoven:

Fidelio Overture Op. 72c

Blacher:

Variations on a Theme of Paganini Op. 26

Dvorak:

Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor, Op. 46 No. 8

Paganini:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 6: Allegro maestoso

Sarah Chang (violin)

Stravinsky:

Petrushka - suite


The founding of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the first of May in 1882 is annually celebrated with a concert in a European city of cultural significance. For this newly released EUROPAKONZERT Blu-ray Disc all recordings werelovingly restored and converted to High Definition video.

Maestro Zubin Mehta was awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction for his unique contribution to Israeli culture.

"Ms. Chang was a wonder. Her full, beautiful tone, unimpeachable intonation and restrained sincerity worked perfectlyagainst the music around her. One heard everything, and everything was worth hearing.” The New York Times

“I thought Sarah Chang was the most wonderful, perfect, ideal violinist I had ever heard.” Yehudi Menuhin

Sarah Chang has not only received the Royal Philharmonic Award for Young Artist and the Gramophone Award amongothers, but she was also the youngest person to receive the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame award.

Concert took place at the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

BD is enhanced by an enticing documentary.

This BD comes with a luxury slipcase

The concert consists of an exiting mixture of well known und seldom heard pieces.

Picture format BD: 60i - 16:9 - Documentary: SD NTSC

Disc Format: BD 25

Sounds formats BD: PCM Stereo

Region code: All

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Subtitles: English, French, German (Doc)

Running time: 87 mins (+ 20 mins Doc)

FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts Europakonzert - 2012024

(Blu-ray)

$29.50

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