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

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Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps

Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Apollon musagète


Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, whose Grammy® award-winning accounts of Stravinsky’s Symphony in C and Symphony of Psalms are among Gramophone magazine’s Top 10 Stravinsky Recordings (2011), return to the composer with a recording of the ground-breaking ballet Le Sacre du printemps, whose premiere a century ago marked a turning point in 20th century music history. The programme on this release also includes new recordings of Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Apollon Musagète, another of the Russian master’s breathtaking ballets.

Although the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps in Paris on 29th May 1913 famously set off a near-riot, the work quickly became recognised as one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century. The 100th anniversary of the premiere will be commemorated with performances all over the world in 2013 and, no doubt, with some new recordings. On record and in performance, Simon Rattle has championed the orchestral works of Stravinsky with insight and dedication over many years and this latest recording is an important addition to his Stravinsky discography.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The performances all have the sense of utter security, tonal depth and fabulous dynamic range that are characteristic of the Berlin Philharmonic in Rattle's era...The Berliners are so much on top of their parts that there is something almost too secure about the result...It's a superbly judged performance, with just the right balance between individuality in the wind playing and immaculate ensemble” The Guardian, 21st March 2013 ****

“Stravinsky famously disliked Karajan’s supersmooth 1960s account with this orchestra, but he surely would have responded more positively to Rattle, who never allows sheer beauty of sound to undermine the rhythmic pulsing...The Berliners’ strings may be plusher than Birmingham’s, and the woodwind soloists are instrumental royalty, but Rattle preserves the visceral barbarism of this ever-astonishing score.” Sunday Times, 31st March 2013

“it is the suavity of the score that startles, especially in Rattle's subtle use of rubato (stolen time) and the cool sensuality of the woodwind solos. Those woodwind players – currently vying with the principals of the Concertgebouw for the title of world's finest – shine again in Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments.” The Independent, 30th March 2013 *****

“Beautiful, all beautiful. But beauty is not enough. We also need the primitive and rude: ingredients that Rattle and the suave Berliners tend to deliver wearing kid gloves...If you’re after an interpretation in love with the score’s quieter corners, go for Rattle with confidence; if you want Stravinsky red in tooth and claw, he’s often hard to find.” The Times, 5th April 2013 ***

“You could be forgiven for thinking this was still Herbert von Karajan’s orchestra, such is the depth of colour in The Rite of Spring and weight of string sonority in Apollon Musagète.” Financial Times, 6th April 2013 ***

“the physical impact here of maximum Berlin Philharmonic firepower is part of what the music itself calls for...Compared to the clotted cream sonorities in evidence here, Rattle's CBSO recording is far truer to the music's poised incisiveness and grace. But his new reading of The Rite of Spring with the Berlin Philharmonic is a formidable achievement.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 *****

“It’s indecently luxuriant and played with a confidence which almost borders on complacency...This recording is full of...sounds which will have you dusting down your miniature score in disbelief. Rarely has the second half’s intro sounded so decadent and sweaty, and I whooped for joy at hearing a normally inaudible low horn rasp a few minutes near the close.” The Arts Desk, 6th April 2013

“This is a pretty considerable account of Le Sacre. I think there is, at times, a degree of greater urgency than was the case in 1987 - perhaps the presence of an audience helped; perhaps it’s the fact that an even more experienced Rattle is now at the helm of a virtuoso orchestra...a refined and excellent performance of Apollon Musagète which benefits not only from the virtuosity of the Berlin string players but also from the fastidious ear of their conductor.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

“[Stravinsky] would surely have warmed to this new version. Rattle’s sense of pacing and proportion is unerring, and the sound has a startling vividness that makes this familiar piece seem new. One hears thickets of ticking, twittering inner parts that normally stay in the background.” The Telegraph, 19th April 2013 ****

“What struck me most was Rattle’s focus on the work’s sensuality, especially in its early stages. Even the opening bar is seductive rather than primitive...Little details that I often listen for are happily present and correct: the groaning horns come through wonderfully in the section entitled Dances of the Young Girls” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 27th May 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - May 2013

EMI - 7236112

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$17.25

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Stravinsky: Petrushka, Le sacre du printemps, Eight Instrumental Miniatures & Circus Polka

Stravinsky: Petrushka, Le sacre du printemps, Eight Instrumental Miniatures & Circus Polka


Stravinsky:

Petrushka (1947 version)

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

The Rite of Spring

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

Instrumental Miniatures (8)

Los Angeles Chamber Ensemble

Circus Polka

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra


Zubin Mehta’s Decca legacy has extensively been mined by Eloquence and the latest release in this on-going exploration brings together all of his Stravinsky recordings for Decca on one CD for the first time. As one might expect, they are technicolour, sharply-etched performances (from Los Angeles) of two of Stravinsky’s greatest ballet scores – Le sacre du printemps and Petrushka, as well as the cheeky Circus Polka, and, with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (made up of LAPO members) the rarer Eight Instrumental Miniatures. The recording is issued in time for the centenary of the scandalous premiere (May 1913) of Le sacre.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4805377

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Igor Stravinsky.... Conducts

Igor Stravinsky.... Conducts


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Recorded in 1960

Columbia Symphony Orchestra

The Firebird

Recorded in 1967

Columbia Symphony Orchestra

The Rite of Spring

Recorded in 1940

Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York

The Firebird

Recorded in 1946

Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York


Released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 'The Rite of Spring' (Le Sacre du Printemps) & is an important historical document of Stravinsky conducting his own iconic works. CD1 featuring the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, includes 'Le Sacre du Printemps' recorded in 1960 & 'L'Oiseau de Feu' recorded in 1967. CD2 featuring the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York, includes 'Le Sacre du Printemps' recorded in 1940 & 'L'Oiseau de Feu' recorded in 1946.

“The composer's blistering 1960 account of The Rite of Spring still startles.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 ****

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2013

Sony - 88765442692

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.50

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Stravinsky: Rite of Spring & The Firebird

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring & The Firebird


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

CD

The Rite of Spring

CD

The Rite of Spring

DVD


Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Tugan Sokhiev

CD+DVD.

The fifth recording of Tugan Sokhiev and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse on naïve is dedicated to one of the major music works of the 20th century, Stravinsky’s 'Rite of Spring', which will turn 100 years in 2013.

Also featuring the 'The Firebird' and offering illustrations that enhance the special atmosphere of those works, this set includes a bonus DVD with a live performance of 'Rite of Spring' from the unforgettable concert that opened last season for the orchestra, now considered one of the best French ensembles.

Tugan Sokhiev’s career is moving ahead fast. Besides his activity as Music Director at Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, with whom he will tour Japan, Germany, Austria, Poland and China this season, he is now Music Director at Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra in Berlin and guest conductor of several prestigious orchestras, including the Philharmonia to which he returns each season. He also enjoys a close association with the Mariinsky Theatre and is in demand from orchestras and opera houses worldwide.

The relationship between Sokhiev and his musicians in Toulouse is increasingly celebrated - Le Figaro described the partnership as "at the centre of French musical life", while Le Monde wrote of “Sokhievmania” after a recent performance in Paris.

“It's The Firebird that takes the honours here, especially the marvellously descriptive woodwind allied to the tiptoeing pizzicato strings. Here, Sokhiev seems to have penetrated to the fantastic, mythical heart of the piece.” The Independent, 12th January 2013 ***

“These are broad, big-boned accounts; if the Rite’s final chord isn’t cataclysmic, what goes before is convulsive and compelling.” Sunday Times, 20th January 2013

“Sokhiev's Rite of Spring takes heed of the work's many textural contrasts, with plenty of bite and bounce from the strings in the 'Mystical Circles of the Young Girls' and darkly wailing lower strings in 'Spring Rounds'...I'd call it a driven performance rather than especially elemental” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

“Sokhiev's new recording with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse seems aimed at younger listeners, and would form a fine starting point for school projects...there's a DVD of the performance of The Rite of Spring that focuses on whichever instrument is prominent at any given time, and films Sokhiev from the relevant player's viewpoint, giving a real sense of what it's like to be in an orchestra.” The Guardian, 7th February 2013 ****

“As for the performances, these are polished and duly exciting...as an imaginative introduction to the world of the ballets, this is a welcome set.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 ****

“Under Sokhiev the Toulouse orchestra plays The Rite with great skill and brilliance making an impressively unified sound. I felt that Sokhiev was somewhat cautious in his approach...[In The Firebird] the Toulouse orchestra under the calm, firm Sokhiev’s direction fare much better. Their playing has an abundance of drama that produces a glorious wash of warm sound.” MusicWeb International, 17th June 2013

“the near-choreographic performance of Sokhiev himself is fascinating. His gestures and cues are an object lesson in conducting expertise” International Record Review, June 2013

Naive - V5192

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Leonard Bernstein conducts Stravinsky & Sibelius

Leonard Bernstein conducts Stravinsky & Sibelius

Fairfield Halls, Croydon, London, 27 November 1966


Sibelius:

Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Humphrey Burton interviews Leonard Bernstein (BONUS)

LONDON, NOVEMBER 1966


‘Luckily for all of us, it wasn’t enough for Leonard Bernstein to compose music and conduct orchestras. He felt equally compelled to talk about music – to try and explain what made it tick, what made it good, and what made it affect us in all the ways that music does. The other piece of good luck was that Leonard Bernstein and television came along at the same time. They were born for each other.’ (Jamie Bernstein)

The films on this DVD are taken from the ‘Symphonic Twilight’ series of TV programmes made in the mid-Sixties that were the brainchild of Humphrey Burton, then the newly appointed Head of Music and Arts Programmes for the BBC.

In his booklet notes for this DVD, Burton reveals himself to have been instrumental in bringing Bernstein the conductor to the wider British public, who knew him foremost as the composer of West Side Story. In 1965 Burton persuaded Bernstein to conduct the LSO at the Royal Albert Hall and the resulting Mahler 8 was a spectacular occasion, broadcast to the nation.

The following year, they put together these programmes, filmed specifically for the new television audience. The works Bernstein chose to record are twentieth-century orchestral masterpieces, for which he is known to be a champion. His recordings of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony for CBS Records and Deutsche Grammophon were acclaimed by critics worldwide, and his interpretation of The Rite of Spring in 1959 elicited an enthusiastic ‘Wow!’ from Stravinsky himself! They are accompanied on this DVD by an in-depth interview, given here as a bonus and subtitled in French and German.

Sound format: Enhanced Mono

DVD format: NTSC

Picture format: 4:3

Running time: 83’

Subtitles: F/G

Menu languages: English

Booklet languages: E/F/G

Region code: 0

Territory Restrictions: None

“Thrilling performances from 1966. The Rite generates tremendous tension, while the Sibelius is liked for drama and lyricism. No wonder Bernstein starts as Jekyll and finishes looking like Hyde.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

ica classics Legacy - ICAD5082

(DVD Video)

$27.25

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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

Scherzo a la Russe

Symphonic Version

Tango No. 72

Orchestral Version (1940). Orchestration by Felix Guenther, approved by Stravinsky and first performed by Benny Goodman


“A fascinating chance to compare a composer's own interpretation with a brilliant newcomer. Ivan Fischer's new Rite of Spring is lean and hungry, razor-sharp and matches his description of it: "fresh, pagan, scary, new and beautiful"...Quite deliberate in places (Spring Rounds is surely too slow) it is full of piercing, unfamiliar detail and accumulates tremendous weight.” The Observer, 22nd January 2012

“The Rite of Spring remains a seismic event in the history of music, still astounding in a performance as gripping and as powerful as this live account by Fischer’s BFO. These Hungarians manage the remarkable feat of making this familiar music sound ever fresh and new — I love Fischer’s chamber-music textures in Dances of the Adolescent Girls, and his Dance of the Earth sounds positively volcanic.” Sunday Times, 19th February 2012

“This is one of the earthiest, most pagan accounts of the ballet around. It’s also one of the most carefully considered whenever Stravinsky writes in a slow tempo...Whenever the music jerks into high gear — the notes cascading, polyrhythms jabbing — the contrast is doubly thrilling.” The Times, 24th February 2012 ****

“Fischer and his Budapest forces possess the right ingredients: the orchestra is well drilled in an interpretation that's as straight as a Roman road; its strings are searing, and brass and wooodwind play in the clipped manner favoured by Stravinsky. In short, it's what the composer said he wanted from a performance of this music. The problem is that Stravinsky did not practise what he preached.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 **

“Fischer's The Rite of Spring is sensual and revealing...There's a elasticity to Fischer's conducting that keeps Stravinsky's score pliable...In a word, this is a 'musical' performance, one where every note seems an inevitable outgrowth of its predecessor. It's not the most viscerally exciting version on disc...[but it] avoids what Stravinsky himself labelled self-glorification.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Orchestral

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Channel - CCSSA32112

(SACD)

$16.00

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Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky

Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky

1940 & 1946 Recordings


Stravinsky:

The Firebird Suite

The Rite of Spring

Petrushka - suite


Philharmonic-Symphony of New York, Igor Stravinsky

Mark Obert-Thorn, producer and audio restoration engineer

This programme brings together the three great ballets which Stravinsky composed for Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev. These vibrantly atmospheric scores were all revised after their Parisian premières, and the 1945 version of the Firebird Suite was still brand new at the time of this recording. In what are widely considered to be the best of his commercial recordings of these works, Stravinsky the conductor brings out the expressive and vividly incisive rhythmic strengths of the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York.

Producer’s Note:

Igor Stravinsky made three sets of commercial recordings of his three great early ballet scores. The first was made in the late 1920s with rather ragged-sounding French and British ensembles and less conducting experience on the composer’s part. The last set was made in stereo in the early 1960s with a pick-up orchestra of Los Angeles musicians at a time when the conductor was at an advanced age. The present series, made midway between the other two, is generally considered his best. It features an ensemble of high quality (Barbirolli’s New York Philharmonic), and the composer is on his best podium form. These are generally considered to be the best of Igor Stravinsky’s own recorded versions of his great ballets. Collectors will want these historically significant audio documents in the most detailed sound possible, and renowned technician Mark Obert-Thorn’s tremendous work in audio restoration means this is exactly what they will find with this release.

“they certainly are exciting, not least because you sense the virtuosos of their day still struggling to master incredibly demanding new music. Forget the recording quality and revel in the rhythmic pungency.” The Times, 25th February 2012 ***

“Invaluable new transfers of Stravinsky on top form as a conductor. This electrifying performance is the finest of his Rite of Spring recordings, and the 1945 Firebird Suite is gripping.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 *****

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2013

Naxos Historical - 8112070

(CD)

$8.50

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Petrushka Ballet Suite

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Petrushka Ballet Suite


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Petrushka (1947 version)


Alto - ALC1131

(CD)

$7.50

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Sir Simon Rattle conducts Stravinsky, Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky

Sir Simon Rattle conducts Stravinsky, Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky

Recorded live at Waldbühne Berlin, 21 June 2009


Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Yefim Bronfman (piano)

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Tchaikovsky:

The Nutcracker, Op. 71


The famous yearly Berliner Philharmoniker Open-Air concert at the Berlin Waldbühne attended by more than 20,000 people. The atmosphere is unique and unconventionally relaxed. People bring champagne, salmon and caviar, making the Waldbühne a giant picnic area. Candles are lit, transforming the area into an atmospheric venue for some of the most popular pieces of classical music.

The 2009 programme has a Russian feel to it, with classic pieces by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky; three pieces of the core repertoire, among the most popular ones.

Yefim Bronfman, artist of international reputation, and specialist of the Russian repertoire, achieves a brilliant performance of this 3rd Concerto of Rachmaninoff.

Romantic, different, and relaxed, this is a superb summer night in Berlin - not only for fans of classical music.

The first Blu ray Disc of Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker on EuroArts.

Picture format BD: 1080i Full HD - 16:9

Sounds formats BD: PCM 2.0, PCM 5.1

Region code: All

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 104 mins

FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts Waldbühne - 2057754

(Blu-ray)

$40.75

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Rite

Rite


Revueltas:

La noche de los Mayas

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Gustavo Dudamel elicits high octane playing from his Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in these two full-frontal force orchestral pieces. Both Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps and Revueltas’s La noche de los Mayas are revealed as models of revolutionary music making.

In Le Sacre du Printemps, Stravinsky transformed painter Nicholas Roerich’s fleeting vision of a pagan ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death as a sacrifice to the god of Spring into a musical simulation of barbaric primality.

La noche de los Mayas, originally scored for a 1939 film, is one of Mexico’s musical treasures. This concert suite, edited by José Ives Limantour, dating to 1961, evokes a mystical lost world.

“Dudamel adopts a romantic view of the 20th-century landmark...[in La Noche de los Mayas] Dudamel hustles his young charges through juggernaut drumming, craggy chords and sassy melodies of a kind Copland mimicked in El Salón México.” The Times, 4th June 2010

“The Venezuelan players are well drilled. In Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring they play with drive and force; they follow the contours of the music; they do the things that the score implies. They are impressive in the visceral climaxes and propulsive rhythms...if Revueltas is a passion, the CD is a must.” The Telegraph, 13th June 2010 ***

“...a Rite that develops thrilling momentum twice over, fast but without haste. It's the outcome of well-judged pacing and an awareness that extremes of pace and weight have to be kept for real climaxes...Details are fine, unexaggerated, and they add up...Astonishing playing; astonishing music.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 *****

“...the verve of these performers is quite incredible. But can they convincingly handle The Rite, with its batty accelarations and daringly skewed rhythmic idiosyncracies? Happily, the answer is resoundingly positive throughout. Alongside the gusto and through the joie de vivre of this orchestra, they are truly microscopic in their detail.” Daniel Ross, bbc.co.uk, 7th June 2010

DG - 4778775

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