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

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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

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BISSACD1474

(SACD)

$14.00

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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)

$6.00

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Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin

Petrushka - suite

RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin

Movements for Piano & Orchestra

Margrit Weber (piano)

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin


Presto CD

DG Ferenc Fricsay Portrait - 4454052

(Presto CD)

$14.00

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Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100, etc.

Prokofiev:

Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


“Karajan's 1968 Prokofiev Fifth is a great performance.
Whenever one compares it with later versions inevitably the DG account holds its place at the top of the list. The analogue recording was uncommonly good for its time.
With the advantage of the Jesus-Christus Kirche acoustics, the sound is full and spacious, naturally defined and balanced; there's a slightly leonine quality to the strings and a natural bloom on woodwind and brass. Karajan lived with the work for a decade before he recorded it and this is immediately apparent in the way the first movement unfolds so inevitably.
The ironic opening of the Scherzo with its flawless BPO articulation brings a splendid but unexaggerated bite, and in the more lyrical central section every subtle detail of colour comes over. The passionate string threnody of the Adagio (what playing, what intensity!) is superbly underpinned by darker wind murmurings; the tangibly hushed close leads naturally to the mellower opening of the essentially upbeat finale with its throbbing horns and instant echoes of Romeo and Juliet.
Karajan's Rite of Spring came a decade later and is more controversial. Stravinsky had been sarcastically scathing about the conductor's earlier 1964 account, even describing one section as 'tempo di hoochie-koochie'. So, Karajan let the work rest, and when he re-recorded it in January 1977 it was done in one single uninterrupted take.
The result has less visceral excitement than some but it's still very rewarding, combining both the symphonic and balletic aspects of this extraordinary score, with the BPO providing much sheer beauty of sound, as in the ravishing melancholy of the opening of Part II and the haunting 'Evocation des ancêtres', although other versions find more pungent drama when the horns enter later.
The Philharmonie sound is excellent and both CD transfers are expertly managed to retain the full character of the originals.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

DG Originals - 4636132

(CD)

$9.25

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Stravinsky: Petrushka & The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: Petrushka & The Rite of Spring


Stravinsky:

Petrushka

The Rite of Spring


Supraphon Ancerl Gold Edition - SU36652

(CD)

$10.50

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Stravinsky - The Great Ballets

Stravinsky - The Great Ballets


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

The Firebird

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Petrushka

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Apollon musagète

London Symphony Orchestra, Igor Markevitch


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca Duo - 4383502

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.50

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Stravinsky: The Firebird, Petrushka & The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: The Firebird, Petrushka & The Rite of Spring


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

Petrushka

The Rite of Spring


Released or re-released in last 6 months

ABC Classics - ABC4814954

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & The Firebird

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & The Firebird

Stravinsky & the Ballets Russes, 100th anniversary collector's edition


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

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

The Rite of Spring

and staged by Millicent Hodson, Kenneth Archer, lighting: Vladimir Lukin

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


In celebration of the creation of 'Le Sacre du printemps' in Paris in 1913, Bel Air present a new edition in a DVD-book of a wonderful Stravinsky night at the Mariinsky with the original Nijinsky version of the 'Rite of Spring' and 'The Firebird' both conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The premiere of 'The Rite of Spring' at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, on May 1913 caused a veritable scandal. The audience was shocked by the primitive violence of the ballet. It was so radically rejected that the ballet was taken off after eight performances. Although long forgotten, thanks to the relentless work of Millicent Hodson, Nijinsky’s original choreography was recreated.

'The Firebird' is a Russian folk tale in two scenes commissioned from the young Stravinsky by Diaghilev and premiered at the Paris Opera House in 1910. The ballet was an immediate success. The Ballets Russes enabled the choreographer Fokine to bring to this enterprise the right amount of novelty needed to captivate but not alienate the audience. It was a total success.

CONTENTS: DVD BOOK, 2 ballets 85 min.

Bonus: Documentary on the Ballets Russes (8 min), interviews with Millicent Hodson & Kenneth Archer (30 min), 36pp illustrated in 3 languages

Format: Colour, 16/9, NTSC, Sound: PCM Stereo - Dolby Digital 5.1.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Bel Air Classiques - BAC241

(DVD Video)

$22.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Stravinsky: The Rite of the Spring - Vinyl Edition

Stravinsky: The Rite of the Spring - Vinyl Edition


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Symphonies of Wind Instruments


From pagan savagery to refined Classical elegance via a masterpiece of oblique ritual, these recordings trace Stravinsky’s eventful musical journey of creative curiosity and unquenchable originality. Sir Simon Rattle has long been acclaimed as a conductor of vivid insights in this music, and the Berliner Philharmoniker’s virtuosity makes this a disc of aptly balletic power and poetry.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Warner Classics - 9029594339

(Vinyl)

$18.50

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Stravinsky: Piano Ballets

Stravinsky: Piano Ballets


Stravinsky:

Petrushka

for piano duet

The Rite of Spring

for piano duet


Katya Apekisheva (piano) & Charles Owen (piano)

According to Stravinsky, Petrushka started out as 'an orchestral work with the piano playing the most important part – a kind of konzertstück.’ It was the impresario Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, who persuaded him to transform this existing material into a full-length orchestral ballet score. Stravinsky almost invariably composed sat at the piano – the shape of his ideas was determined by the instrument’s essentially percussive nature. In the case of Petrushka, the title character’s distinctive harmonic profile rose directly from the juxtaposition of two chords based respectively on the keyboard’s white and black notes. The piano-duo version is therefore no mere arrangement but the original source out of which the orchestral score was fashioned.

“The contrasts are sharp, bright, and witty, and the manically-driving tempos whirl us along. These players relish both the virtuosity required, and the chance to convey comedy; the Enchantment of the second scene really is enchanting…Apekisheva and Owen light up Stravinsky’s world with every phrase pellucidly clear; the precision of their playing is a delight in itself…this performance crackles with excitement” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

“Owen and Apekisheva really understand Stravinsky’s layering techniques, and a huge amount of detail comes through” International Piano, September 2016 ****

“The piano-duet arrangement of Le Sacre du Printemps in particular brings satisfaction and reward” MusicWeb International, 16th September 2016

Quartz - QTZ2117

(CD)

$14.50

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