Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps)

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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

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Bel Air Classiques - BAC441

(Blu-ray)

$27.75

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Herbert von Karajan conducts Mozart & Stravinsky

Herbert von Karajan conducts Mozart & Stravinsky

BBC broadcast: 15 May 1972, Royal Festival Hall, London


Mozart:

Divertimento No. 15 in B flat major, K287

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


These performances, given in London and Paris in May 1972, can best be described as ‘work in progress’. In the months that followed, Karajan switched the orchestra’s modernist repertoire away from Stravinsky to the music of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. The Stravinsky ensemble, he concluded, needed better horns and better support in the subsidiary wind sections. Not that the orchestra had disappointed in London. “Perhaps no passage showed more remarkably the near-perfection of the playing than the exchanges between muted trumpets and divided strings in the Introduction to Part 2,” noted Martin Cooper, the exacting chief music critic of the Daily Telegraph. “The overwhelming experience was of a precision, a range of colour and of dynamics, wholly suited to the music. Karajan was able to give even the thickest textures a vibrant clarity, and the split-second timing and sureness of attack in the ‘Dance of the Earth’ and the ‘Glorification of the Chosen One’ showed not only the players’ skill but their extraordinarily intimate knowledge of the work.” Reviewing the 1977 recording in The Gramophone, Arnold Whittall echoed Glenn Gould’s thinking about the importance of alternative views of Le Sacre by noting that what Karajan brought to the piece was a “riveting realisation of the monolithic formal principles which give this score its coherence and its enduring radicalism”. This live London performance may have been work in progress. What is fascinating, however, is the uninterrupted view it provides of the blueprint to which Karajan was working. From the booklet note  Richard Osborne, 2009

Testament - SBT1453

(CD)

$12.75

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring


Sony - G010001790836B

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Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps

Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps


Rachmaninov:

Suite Nos. 1 & 2 for two pianos

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

(piano version)


Gueher Pekinel (piano), Sueher Pekinel (piano)

DG Galleria - 4376502

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Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring & Petrushka (one piano – four hands)

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring & Petrushka (one piano – four hands)


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

composer’s version for one piano – four hands

Petrushka

composer’s version for one piano – four hands


David Nettle & Richard Markham (piano)

At last, this recording is available again. Originally released by Saga on LP in 1985 and then lost in the mist of time following the labels closure. Now digitally re-mastered from original analogue sources, it is available on CD for the first time. This release will be much sought after as there is no listed competition in the current Muze Classical Catalogue for The Rite of Spring. David & Richard are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary season as Britain’s foremost piano duo and continue to tour the world enthralling all who attend their many concerts.

“...the transcription restores a sense of danger to a work at risk of losing its explosiveness through overfamiliarity...the Rite remains the ultimate piano duet.” Sunday Times, 29th November 2009 ****

Netmark - NEMACD800

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Firebird Suite

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Firebird Suite


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

The Firebird Suite


Royal Philharmonic Masterworks - RPM28290

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Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps

Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps

+bonus documentary: Soulscapes


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Giovanni di Palma & Kiyoko Kimura (soloists) & Wolfgang Manz, Rolf Plagge (pianos)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig & Leipzig Ballet, Henrik Schaefer

Staging, Choreography, Sets, Costumes, Lighting Design & Film by Uwe Scholz

Uwe Scholz, former director of the Leipzig Ballet, was hailed as one of the most brilliant choreographic minds of his generation and one of the most important German choreographers at the time of his untimely death in November 2004 at the age of 45. Scholz took up his first position as a choreographer with Marcia Haydée in Stuttgart when he was 22. He saw himself as a mixture between his teacher John Cranko and the influential George Balanchine, and the magically beautiful and extraordinarily musical choreographies that he created for houses such as the Opera in Vienna, La Scala, Zurich and Leipzig owe much to neoclassicism.This DVD recording focuses on the two interpretations of Le Sacre du Printemps that he created for 'his' Leipzig Ballet, the company that he led to international fame from 1991. The evening opens with a legendary solo interpretation, danced by Giovanni di Palma to Stravinsky's own adaptation for two pianos of the ‘Rite’. Often seen as Scholz's autobiographical legacy, this choreography shows a dancer's loneliness and despair in heartbreaking images.An emotive ensemble interpretation to the original orchestral version of the same piece forms the second half of the evening. Here Kiyoko Kimura takes the leading role among the 56 dancers on the stage.The staging proves the ensemble to be one of the best contemporary ballet companies worldwide. Günter Atteln's insightful documentary Soulscapes is a full-length homage to Uwe Scholz showing excerpts of his most important works.The film offers a warm and detailed account of a thoroughly fascinating life and includes some very personal interviews with a man consumed by his art until his last breath.

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Medici Arts - 2055728

(DVD Video)

$27.25

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Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition & Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition & Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring


Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition (piano version)

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Dan Grigore (piano)


Andrei Vieru (piano)

Harmonia Mundi - HMC901616

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Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez


Debussy:

Jeux - Poème dansé

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Trois Nocturnes: Fêtes

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Images for orchestra

Schoenberg:

Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene, Op. 34

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Booklet Notes:Tracklisting in English, French, German.

This first DVD release of Boulez' most famous interpretations is a must-have!

His ground breaking Debussy interpretations Nocturnes: Fêtes Jeux - Poème dansé and Images freed Debussy from cliché.

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (1913) and Schoenberg's Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene (1930) confirmed Boulez as the authority on 20th century music.

A composer himself, Boulez conducts with precision and a deep understanding of the sound worlds of the composers: he "thinks music".

Includes film footage of Boulez' conducting Images and working on Fêtes Jeux.

"Pierre Boulez is arguably the most influential, and controversial, figure in the world of music today. Boulez is known as the young Turk of post-war avant-garde composition who has steadily transformed himself into one of the most authoritative interpreters of standard 19th and 20th-century music." The Guardian

“These concerts, spanning 30 years, show Boulez's consistency in achieving precision, colour and clarity. The Debussy and Schoenberg performances are classics, the Stravinsky too civilised.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2009 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Medici Arts Classic Archive - 3085238

(DVD Video)

$12.00

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Le Sacre

Le Sacre

Debussy - Stravinsky


Debussy:

En blanc et noir

6 Epigraphes antiques

Stravinsky:

Sonata for Two Pianos

The Rite of Spring

(version for piano four hands)


GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Neos - NEOS20805

(SACD)

$13.75

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