"...these recordings were made with the New York Philharmonic with its excellent soloists ... These are admirable performance…Mark Obert-Thorn has found more sound in the grooves than was hitherto audible, making this production a worthy addition to the Stravinsky discography."
David Radcliffe - American Record Guide - July 2012
"...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 ..." *****
Christopher Dingle - BBC Music Magazine - August 2012
"The Rite of Spring, the complete score ... posing few hazards for Philharmonic abilities metrically or in terms of intonation. The new-famous Dance of the Young Boys and Girls ... proceeds at a moderate tempo as the forces of burgeoning Spring release pent-up, primal erotic energies ... the Spring Rounds section conveys urgency and the kinds of dissonant labor pains inherent in the throes of savage fertility rites. The mystique of pagan sacrifice builds inexorably in Stravinsky’s approach to the second half, culminating in the Elders summoning a young maiden for ritual sacrifice, she who dances herself to death to conclude the ballet. The Introduction exhibits wonderful transparency of effect. The Glorification of the Chosen One projects the requisite passion and uninhibited vehemence, the Philharmonic brass and tympani is apocalyptic convulsions. The martial tempo for the Ritual of the Ancients seems to derive from Debussy’s Fêtes. Acerbic brass and string attacks make the Sacrificial Dance effective, the forces of shamanic self-denial literally in conflict with the will to life." ****
Gary Lemco - Audiophile Audition - February 2012
"This CD includes the very first recording of the 1945 version of the Firebird suite. This Stravinsky had prepared in order to safeguard his copyright in the score which had become a matter of dispute following the Russian Revolution. Stravinsky himself had a soft spot for this version, not surprisingly since he earned royalties from it. It was this edition which he recorded later. It really isn’t a patch on the original score. Stravinsky reduced the orchestration—largely on practical grounds—and took the opportunity to tidy up some of the articulation. Much of his revision was an attempt to turn the score into a more neo-classical work in accordance with his style at the time. He made more prominent use of the piano instead of harp and celesta, for example. Oddly enough this was a style which he was shortly to abandon in his metamorphosis into a twelve-tone composer. However this version of the Suite is longer than the more usually performed 1919 suite. It includes two extra movements: the Adagio which accompanies the Firebird’s plea for liberty to her captor the Prince, and the scherzo for the play of the Princesses with their golden apples. So it’s a matter of swings and roundabouts. Do you prefer the shorter suite with the original scoring, or the longer one as revised? Maybe it’s just best to settle for the full original score.
Mark Obert-Thorn does wonders with the sound here apart from the lack of weight in the slashing chords which open the Infernal dance. The result is fairly comparable with Stravinsky’s stereo remake of fifteen years later. The composer is quite brisk with his own atmospheric invention at the beginning. The recording brings out many details that can be lost and Stravinsky gets a scintillating performance of the Firebird’s dance. The chords at the very end lack the ideal breadth and grandiosity, but the fault for this can be laid at Stravinsky’s revision which substantially alters the articulation given to the players.If you want to hear Stravinsky’s interpretations of his own music while the composer was in his prime, this obviously will be the recording you want. These are…valuable performances, and Mark Orbert-Thorn’s re-mastering has done the best possible with the sound—and, in the case of the 1946 recording of the Firebird suite, a great deal more than that."
Paul Corfield Godfrey - MusicWeb-International.com - May 2012
No User Reviews Found.