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

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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 ****

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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

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Channel - CCSSA32112

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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.

“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 *****

“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 ***

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Stravinsky: Pétrouchka & Le Sacre du printemps

Stravinsky: Pétrouchka & Le Sacre du printemps


Stravinsky:

Petrushka (1911 version)

The Rite of Spring


This release sees the critically acclaimed Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under its music director Andrew Litton perform two scores by Igor Stravinsky that stand at the pinnacle of 20th-century orchestral music.

Both Pétrouchka and Le Sacré du printemps were written for the ballet impressario Sergei Diaghilev and his company Les Ballets Russes.

The particularly striking aspect of Pétrouchka was the extensive use of folk song and street music, treated with extreme refinement and often biting irony – the character of Petrushka, a puppet come to life, was described by Stravinsky as ‘the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair-ground in all countries’.

The scandal associated with the 1913 première of Le sacré du printemps has become legendary – a scandal probably caused as much by Nijinsky’s choreography as by Stravinsky’s score. But even today, the music offers an extremely powerful experience, above all through its rhythmic qualities.

“Litton and the Bergen players are bursting with life” International Record Review

“the refinement and precision of the playing are hugely impressive. Litton's care with the textures in Petrushka and his unfussy way of teasing out the instrumental strands in The Rite of Spring matches that exactness” The Guardian, 14th April 2011 ***

“Andrew Litton conducts the Bergen Philharmonic in what is at times a visceral reading [of Rite]. The playing is rhythmically sharp, if not quite at Stravinsky's own breakneck speeds all the time...if you're looking for a freshly painted Petrushka or a Rite to shake you up a bit, this is shockingly good. Just make sure the neighbours are out first.” International Record Review, May 2011

“Virtuoso though the playing and conducting are, this is not a self-regarding performance but one that never loses contact with its deep Russian roots. The playing is polished and well balanced but can roughen to ferocious barbarity...This never has the sense of being played for thrills, yet the effect is all the more thrilling for coming from such depths...a worthy memorial to a fine artist.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2011

“True to form, Litton draws exceptionally clean textures from the orchestra, notably fine woodwind colouring, with a keen eye for every facet of both scores...Litton's almost neo-classical approach brings an attractive delicacy to passages such as the 'Ritual Action of the Ancestors'” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 **

GGramophone Awards 2011

Shortlisted - Orchestral

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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

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$8.00

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Berliner Philharmoniker: European Concert 1993

Berliner Philharmoniker: European Concert 1993


Mozart:

Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K216

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Tchaikovsky:

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture


The Berlin Philharmonic opened its Europe Concert 1993 in the impressive setting of the Royal Albert Hall with Pyotr Tchaikovsky‘s fantasy overture to Romeo and Juliet.

Playing and interpreting Mozart is an incomparable challenge for every musician, but the present recording demonstrates masterful interpretation and playing by the world-renowned violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. The Violin Concerto No. 3, K.216, with its fully balanced dialogue between solo instrument and orchestra, represents - compared to its two predecessors - a quantum leap. Alfred Einstein called this violin concerto „a miracle“. Only a musician who has total sway over his instrument and is able to interpret the freshness of the invention and the elegance of the melody can achieve a finished performance.

Under Bernard Haitink‘s baton, the Berlin Philharmonic have demonstrated here their possibilities in the reduced classical instrumentation, before the full orchestra put on a show after the interval with Stravinsky‘s „Rite“.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo,

DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9, PAL

Running Time: 90 mins

FSK: 0

DVD Video

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Format: PAL

Arthaus Musik Berliner Philharmoniker - 107171

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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

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EuroArts Waldbühne - 2057754

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$44.25

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Stravinsky - The Ballets

Stravinsky - The Ballets


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Petrushka

The Firebird

Apollon musagète


The Ballet Edition is a series of 2 CD sets drawn from the catalogues of EMI Classics, presenting the best-loved and most popular ballets, performed by the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

“Vital and colourful recordings from the 1980s, when Simon Rattle was at the height of his powers with the CBSO.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 ****

EMI Ballet Edition - 9677112

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.50

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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.

See also Blu-ray version.

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010

DVD of the Year

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC041

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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 *****

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