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

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring


Poulenc:

Les Biches

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


This release is the final installment in a trio of discs that celebrate the music of Stravinsky in Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer.

This live orchestral recording brings together two contrasting works both composed for the famed ballet company: Stravinsky’s infamous The Rite of Spring – full of dark, rhythmic menace and dissonance – and Poulenc’s Les biches (most aptly translated as ‘the does’) – which captures the heady atmosphere and risqué thrills of young women in the 1920s' party scene.

“Helped by state-of-the-art sound, Fischer's refinement speaks volumes in the Rite's quieter passages, where the string clusters and gurgling woodwind have a lucid beauty that contrasts finely with the weight of the rest...The real treat, though, is Les Biches.... There is a dark undertow in the performance, with echoes of Offenbach and 18th-century elegance... The tricky choral writing is expertly negotiated, and the playing poised in the extreme.” The Guardian, 12th May 2011 ****

“There’s so much to enjoy in the sheer sound of this performance – the gorgeous, Impressionistic textures conjured up in the slow opening to the ballet’s second half, or the swift traipse through "The Augurs of Spring", with the offbeat chords sonorous and weighty. And the "Dance of the Earth" is terrific..You can almost feel the delight on the players’ faces” Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 11th June 2011

“Fischer's French sensibility is evident from the very start of this brightly lit and articulate Rite: a provocative and teasing rubato in the opening bassoon solo immediately hints at the sexual and the chic...The precision of the Welsh orchestra is impressive, the clarity and vitality of the sound throwing up detail that one thought had long since stopped being surprising. But here it is - freshly minted” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

“this is a no-nonsense, hard-driven account of the Rite, sure to raise the pulse rate. Both the 'Dance of the earth' and 'Sacrificial Dance' combine searing energy and precision. At times it is a little emotionless, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, Fischer avoiding the mannerisms that beset some versions....[Les Biches] bounces along as genially as the Rite is menacing.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****

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Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic

Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic


Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition

Prokofiev:

Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scheherazade, Op. 35

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Urania - WS121100

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Petrushka

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Petrushka


Stravinsky:

Petrushka

Étude pour Pianola

The Rite of Spring


Rex Lawson (pianola)

On the face of it, it seems strange that a worldly-wise, successful composer like Stravinsky should lock himself away for hours in a small studio and arrange his own music for the pianola. Everyone knows, don't they, that pianolas (a somewhat less than generic term for player pianos) sound like beat-up old honky-tonks, drowning any musical inspiration with the squeaking of their gears and the wheezing of their pedals!

Well, have we got news for you! Pianolas don't always play with an inexorable tempo and at triple forte; they can and should sound as musically sensitive as any other instrument, and Stravinsky himself enjoyed playing them. Over the past forty years there have been so many false descriptions and loud recordings of the pianola that public perception of the instrument is a travesty of what was originally intended. To be sure, there were cheap pianolas to be had, but the majority of instruments were installed in high-class pianos and often cost as much as luxury automobiles. As you listen to Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, we hope that this program note may help to change your mind about a frequently and unjustly maligned musical instrument.

“Unlike the fully automated rolls created by Rachmaninov, Stravinsky's require a player to control the mechanism, in this case Rex Lawson who works wonders in bringing these paper rolls fully to life.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2011 ****

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York2

York2

One Piano Four Hands


Debussy:

La Mer

Ravel:

Rapsodie Espagnole

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Fiona York & John York (piano)

Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, it was standard practice to publish symphonies, overtures, whole operas, quartets, ballets – almost everything – in piano duet form alongside the full scores. But why take on the challenge of actually giving concert performances of great orchestral works in versions for four hands on one piano? There are several reasons why we do it; if the duet version is a composer-original, as is the case with all the works presented here, it has per se a genuine validity, deserving of our attention; in some cases the duet version actually predates the full orchestral score; the piano version can clarify the denser orchestral textures and rhythms; and it is both a huge challenge to the pianist and huge fun to play, and to watch. The three duet works on this CD all find on the piano a life as valid and intoxicating as they have in the more usual orchestral performances.

York2 has a fine reputation as the 'duo with a difference', gained through John and Fiona's exploration of larger scale and contemporary scores alongside the rich and familiar duet repertoire. They have given concerts for societies and festivals in the UK and Australia, on BBC Radio 3, CBC TV, at the Salzburg Festival, concertos at the Barbican Centre and South Bank in London. Fiona has taught in the junior departments of the Royal College, Trinity and Guildhall, she is at present at St. Paul’s Girls’ School and Eltham College, both in London. John was Professor at Guildhall for 33 years and is Senior Music Head of Department at St. Paul's Girls' School. Independently and together Fiona and John have rounded, versatile careers that combine concerts (John working in particular with celebrated cellist Raphael Wallfisch), editing and reviewing, composing for major publishers, adjudicating, teaching and coaching.

“Recital discs of four-hand music don't come much finer than this: the playing of the highest order and the programme brings together some of the most inportant scores of the early years of the last century, demonstrating in abundance just how vital and eclectic was the Parisian musical scene in the pre-war years. Highly recommended.” International Record Review, December 2010

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Maazel conducts Stravinsky

Maazel conducts Stravinsky

Single release of the 60th anniversary-box


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

Live recording: Munich, Herkulessaal, 17th and 18th June 1999

The Rite of Spring

Live recording: Munich, Philharmonie, 2nd and 3rd April 1998


Under Lorin Maazel, who held the Chief Conductor position from 1993 to 2002, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks reached a new level of performance culture, precision and flexibility. Like no other conductor, Maazel is capable of masterfully handling large-dimensioned works and performing music tightly packed with emotional content clear-headedly to make its effect even greater. The works on this CD mark two key moments in Stravinsky’s development as a composer during the period before the First World War.

The ballet music for L’oiseau de feu (The Firebird) contains many of the attributes that had made the Sacre such a scandalous avant-garde event in the Paris of 1913: unprecedented sound colours, rapidly changing rhythms, orgiastic climaxes and an exotic subject matter. Lorin Maazel and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks – a dream combination for Stravinsky’s sensuous and rhythmically irresistible ballet works.

Individual release from the successful anniversary box of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

Two of Igor Stravinsky’s most popular works.

Highly virtuosic orchestral works in which Maazel’s conducting expertise comes most impressively to the fore.

“Unlike some recordings originally destined for radio broadcast, the sound here is very good indeed. There is clarity and a naturalness (for CD) that conveys both the breadth of the orchestral palette and a sense of occasion. The delicacy of the hushed textures in the opening of Part 2 is magical, and a fitting tribute to the best of Lorin Maazel's work with the orchestra.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ***

BR Klassik Archive - 900706

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$12.00

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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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Rachmaninov & Stravinsky (for two pianos, four hands)

Rachmaninov & Stravinsky (for two pianos, four hands)


Rachmaninov:

Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

for two pianos, four hands

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

for two pianos, four hands


Malcolm Wilson and Philip Martin (pianos)

This month’s new release from SOMM is of two much loved scores but in much less frequently recorded versions, for two pianos and four hands. Rachmaninov arranged his composition for two pianos and Stravinsky prepared his work for piano duet. Both works are brilliantly performed by Martin and Wilson.

Somm Céleste - SOMM098

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The Sacred Spring of Slavs

The Sacred Spring of Slavs


Shamo:

Hutsulian Watercolours

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

arr. S. Salov


Serhiy Salov (piano)

A piano virtuoso, Serhiy Salov is a master of colour and atmosphere. The Sacred Spring of Slavs is a musical depiction of pro-Slavic pagan rites created through the juxtaposition of Stravinsky’s mythical The Rite of Spring and Ukranian composer Ihor Shamo’s Hutsulian Watercolours. Salov’s goal was to highlight the parallels between the two works, both of which feature the most bizarre dissonances.

“If you haven't come across this Ukrainian pianist, prepare to be amazed. Yes, the Shamo suite has its gritty moments but its colossal difficulties are handled with breathtaking sensitivity...Salov's transcription manages to clarify the complex harmonies and rhythms while...retaining the excitement of the original” Classic FM Magazine, December 2010 *****

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Stravinsky: Petrushka & the Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: Petrushka & the Rite of Spring


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Choreography by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilev

Valeria Tsoi (The Chosen One), Vera Timashova (The Dark Spirit), Sergei Vanaev (The Wise Elder)

Moscow Classical Ballet

Petrushka

Choreography by Mikhail Fokine

Irek Mukhamedov (Petrushka), Ludmila Semenyaka (The Ballerina), Vyacheslav Elagin (The Moor), Yuri Vetrov (The Charlatan)

Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre


Pavel Sorokin

Two twentieth-century ballet masterpieces performed by major Russian ballet troupes. Petrushka is a live 1992 performance by the Bolshoi Ballet, with choreography based on the original Fokine. The Rite of Spring is a filmed 1990 studio production by the Moscow Classical Ballet starring Ilgiz Galimullin and Valeria Tsoi. 76 minutes, Color, Mono, 4:3, All regions.

DVD Video

Region: 0

VAI - DVDVAI4516

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$30.00

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