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BI 1874
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BI 1874

STRAVINSKY, I.: Firebird (The) / Orchestral Arrangements (Bergen Philharmonic, Litton)

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 88.2Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra

Litton, Andrew

Andrew Litton


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 69:53
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STRAVINSKY, I.: Firebird (The) / Orchestral Arrangements (Bergen Philharmonic, Litton)

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The Firebird (original version)

1 Introduction 2:26
2 Scene 1: Night. Kastchei's Enchanted Garden 1:38
3 Scene 1: The Firebird enters, pursued by Ivan Tsarevich 2:17
4 Scene 1: The Firebird's Dance 1:19
5 Scene 1: Ivan Tsarevich captures the Firebird 0:51
6 Scene 1: The Firebird begs to be released 5:46
7 Scene 1: Entrance of the Thirteen Enchanted Princesses 2:34
8 Scene 1: The Princesses play with the golden apples (Scherzo) 2:32
9 Scene 1: Ivan Tsarevich appears 1:16
10 Scene 1: The Princesses' Khorovod (Round Dance) 4:58
11 Scene 1: Daybreak 1:24
12 Scene 1: Magic Carillon - Appearance of Kastchei's Guardian Monsters - Capture of Ivan Tsarevich 1:26
13 Scene 1: The entrance of Kastchei the Immortal 1:10
14 Scene 1: Dialogue between Kastchei and Ivan Tsarevich 1:24
15 Scene 1: The Princesses plead for mercy 1:12
16 Scene I: The Firebird enters 0:31
17 Scene 1: Dance of Kastchei's retinue under the Firebird's magic spell 0:44
18 Scene 1: Infernal Dance of Kastchei and his subjects under the Firebird's magic spell 4:30
19 Scene 1: The Firebird's Lullaby 2:58
20 Scene 1: Kastchei awakens 0:56
21 Scene 1: Kastchei's death 1:31
22 Scene 2: Kastchei's spell is broken, his palace disappears, and the Petrified Knights return to life. General Thanksgiving 3:31



The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (arr. I. Stravinsky for orchestra)

23 Act III: Bluebird Pas de deux: Adagio 2:10
24 Act III: Bluebird Pas de deux: Variation 1: Tempo di valse 0:45
25 Act III: Bluebird Pas de deux: Variation 2: Andantino 0:43
26 Act III: Bluebird Pas de deux: Coda - Con moto 1:28



Canzonetta, Op. 62a (arr. I. Stravinsky for orchestra)


Nocturne No. 10 in A flat major, Op. 32, No. 2 (arr. I. Stravinsky for orchestra)




Waltz No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 18, "Grande valse brillante" (arr. I. Stravinsky for orchestra)




Greeting Prelude

 Andrew Litton Conductor
 Litton, Andrew

The Firebird was Igor Stravinsky’s first full-length ballet, but not his first collaboration with Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes. In 1909, a year before the triumphant première of The Firebird, the charismatic impresario had commissioned Stravinsky to orchestrate two piano compositions by Chopin for use in another project. Evidently pleased with the result, he invited the young composer to write the music for the next production of his ballet company, to a scenario based on various well-known Russian fairy-tale characters. The score holds several moments that recall Scriabin, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky’s teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, but the mature Stravinsky is already present in the superb orchestral craft and the vivid rhythmic imagination. Rather than either of the two suites which Stravinsky later prepared, Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra have chosen to record the original ballet score, allowing us to relish the enormous range of colours springing from what the composer later described as a ‘wastefully large’ orchestration. Soon after The Firebird, Stravinsky went on to influence the direction of music with Petrushka and The Rite of Spring – two scores which appear on a recent release with the same performers. That much acclaimed disc was short-listed for a 2011 Gramophone Award, named Editor’s Choice in Classic FM Magazine, and selected as Disc of the Month by the websites Classics Today and Classics Today France, and the recording itself was praised on a par with the interpretation and playing, with the reviewer in International Record Review describing ‘the efforts of the BIS recording team’ as ‘truly magnificent’. The present disc includes not only The Firebird, but also the above-mentioned Chopin orchestrations, as well as arrangements of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius, ending with Stravinsky’s tongue-in-cheek 1955 Greeting Prelude for the 80th birthday of Pierre Monteux, the conductor who had given the world premières of both Petrushka and The Rite of Spring some forty years earlier.

                          **** - Excellent

Guiseppe Rossi - Musica magazine - June 2012

"If ever a composer wrote music to benefit from the astonishing aural range and dynamic impact of the super audio CD medium, it was Igor Stravinsky, particularly in his early Russian ballets... this powerful performance by Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic, which does the most consummate justice to this colourful score. The final peroration, surely one of the most uplifting passengers in all music, has rarely been captured to such exhilarating effect ..."

Barry Forshaw - - 6 June 2012

"...A stunning treat, and one which will give lasting pleasure."

Dominy Clements - - 26 April 2012

"...It [The Firebird] remains a magical score, both in the sense of embodying a fantastic fairy tale and as a piece of orchestral wizardry to bewitch the ear and the imagination. Andrew Litton allows it more delicacy than some of its late interpreters, to its great advantage at such moments as the very opening with the string harmonic glissandos and especially in the less familiar scenes between the more famous numbers; all of this i well caught by an attenttive recording..."

John Warrack - Gramophone magazine - June 2012

        ****  - Good

Pierre-Jean Tribot - Pizzicato magazine - May 2012

"...highly recommendable disc..."

Mark Pullinger - International Record Review - April 2012

         Artistic Quality 10         Sound Quality 10

"...The couplings also are very imaginative and a welcome change from the usual short Stravinsky items. You get Stravinsky’s arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Bluebird Pas-de-deux, Sibelius’ Canzonetta, and two works by Chopin–the Nocturne Op. 32 No. 1, and the Grande Valse Brilliante Op. 18. As with The Firebird, the performances are ideal: ideally paced, limpid in texture, and immaculately played. Stravinsky’s Greeting Prelude concludes this really captivating programming. As usual with recordings from this source, the engineering is state of the art. A great disc."

David Hurwitz - - March 2012

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