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CHAN 10193
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CHAN 10193

Stravinsky: Jeu de Cartes/ Orpheus/The Soldier's Tale

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Neeme Jarvi


Concertgebouw Hall, Amsterdam

Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow


Brian Couzens

(Histoire du soldat

Ralph Couzens

(Jeu de cartes, Orpheus)


Ralph Couzens

(Histoire du soldat)

Ben Connellan

(Jeu de cartes, Orpheus)

Philip Couzens


Richard Smoker


Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 78:10
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Stravinsky: Jeu de Cartes · Orpheus · The Soldier's Tale

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Jeu de cartes (The Card Game)

  A ballet in three deals  
  Première donne (First Deal)  
1 Introduction: Alla breve 0:40
2 Pas d'action: Meno mosso 0:49
3 Dance Variation: Moderato assai 1:37
4 Dance of the Joker: Strigendo 1:06
5 Waltz-Coda: Tranquillo 1:12
  Deuxième donne (Second Deal)  
6 Introduction: Alla breve 0:19
7 March: Marcia 1:45
8 Variations I-IV: Allegretto 2:41
9 Variation V, Pas de quatre: Sostenuto e pesante 0:38
10 Coda: Più mosso 0:46
11 Reprise of March: Marcia 0:30
12 Ensemble: Con moto 2:38
  Troisième donne (Third Deal)  
13 Introduction: Alla breve 0:25
14 Waltz 2:19
15 Battle between Spades and Hearts: Presto 1:43
16 Final Dance - Coda: Tempo del principio 2:54


  A ballet in three scenes  
  Scene 1  
17 Orpheus weeps for Eurydice: Lento sostenuto 2:21
18 Air de danse: Andante con moto 3:00
19 Dance of the Angel of Death: L'istesso tempo 2:16
20 Interlude 2:04
  Scene 2  
21 Pas de furies: Agitato in piano - Sempre alla breve ma meno mosso 2:48
22 Air de danse: Grave - Un poco meno mosso 2:35
23 Interlude: L'istesso tempo 0:20
24 Air de danse (Conclusion): L'istesso tempo 0:45
25 Pas d'action: Andantino leggiadro 1:57
26 Pas de deux:Andante sostenuto 6:15
27 Interlude: Moderato assai 1:01
28 Pas d'action: Vivace 2:22
  Scene 3  
29 Orpheus's apotheosis: Lento sostenuto 2:49

Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale)

  Suite from the dramatic work  
30 1 The Soldier's March 1:35
31 2 Music from Scene 1 2:30
32 3 Music from Scene 2 3:05
33 4 The Royal March 2:35
34 5 The Little Concert 2:53
6 Three Dances:
35 1. Tango 2:18
36 2. Valse 1:50
37 3. Ragtime 2:07
38 7 The Devil's Dance 1:18
39 8 Great Chorale 3:14
40 9 Triumphal March of the Devil 2:10
Chandos’ acclaimed recordings of these popular works by Stravinsky are now available on its mid-price Classics label.

Järvi’s recordings with the SNO are famous for their freshness and spontaneity, whilst his account of Jeu de cartes, with the fabled Concertgebouw Orchestra, is especially noted for its sonic brilliance.

Jeu de cartes was commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein for the American Ballet in New York in 1935. Stravinsky had for many years been toying with the idea of a ballet in which the action centred around a game of cards (a favourite pastime of the composer’s). The commission was therefore a timely opportunity for him to realise his plans, for a considerable portion of the work had already been written or at least formulated in his mind. The ballet consists of three continuous deals, each prefaced with a march-like introduction representing the shuffling of the pack. The dancers are cards in a poker game which takes place against a backcloth of green baize, the progress of the game continually disrupted by the machinations of the joker.

It was Kirstein again who commissioned Orpheus in 1946. Stravinsky was interested in Greek mythology and in musical terms he perceived the work as a restrained oration on the timeless, tragic aspects of the two melancholy lovers. The scoring is delicate and the dynamics throughout are suppressed, with only one instrumental climax above the level of forte – that which accompanies the tearing to pieces of Orpheus by the Bacchantes.

The Soldier’s Tale was projected as a touring-piece for the small villages of Switzerland. It draws from the collection of folk-tales by the Russian writer Afanasyev; but the hero’s Faustian pact relates him to a central European tradition, and Stravinsky wanted him to be seen as ‘the victim of the then world conflict’ in 1918. Shorn of the drama, the Suite’s instrumental pieces come across as incisive character studies, subtly embracing hints of the devilish struggle.

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