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Classical Music

Stravinsky


Stravinsky: Petrushka / The Rite of Spring / Le Sacre Du Printemps (Pierre Monteux Edition, Vol. 13)

Stravinsky: Petrushka / The Rite of Spring / Le Sacre Du Printemps (Pierre Monteux Edition, Vol. 13) Lowest new price: $11.98
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Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) Lowest new price: $7.50
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Whatever the limitations of Stravinsky's baton technique, no one else on disc conjures the same bustling excitement at the outset of Petrouchka. Overlapping, polyrhythmic textures in Petrouchka and in Le Sacre du Printemps come off with Mozartian lucidity, Mendelssonian lightness, and, well, Stravinsky-esque rhythmic exactitude (notwithstanding a few hesitant entrances). The clarity partly stems from the composer's use of his leaner revised scores, helped by close-up, analytical mike work by CBS. There are, of course, slicker, more sonically opulent versions of these 20th century landmarks. And then there are Stravinsky's. --Jed Distler

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Renée Fleming - I Want Magic! ~ American Opera Arias

Renée Fleming - I Want Magic! ~ American Opera Arias Lowest new price: $6.97
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Brand: FLEMING,RENEE

Soprano sensation Renee Fleming performs American arias by Bernard Herrmann, Douglas Moore, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Andre Previn and Igor Stravinsky.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 15-SEP-1998

Like Dawn Upshaw's The World So Wide on Nonesuch, this program is such an inviting cross section of American opera of the last 50 years, you wonder why more of it hasn't been recorded. Composers include Carlisle Floyd, Douglas Moore, Samuel Barber, and Gian Carlo Menotti, whose childlike "Monica's Waltz" from the otherwise lurid opera The Medium is a highlight. Old favorites are here, such as Gershwin's "Summertime." And new favorites, too: Andre Previn's forthcoming "A Streetcar Named Desire" graciously offers Straussian lushness and bitonal wind-instrument details suggesting Blanche DuBois's mind departing from reality, all sounding remarkably true to Previn's pre-World War II upbringing in Berlin. This dramatically alert arioso isn't so melodically memorable but makes all necessary dramatic points eloquently. Though she performs vividly throughout, Fleming often lets her vocal tone overwhelm articulation of the words--a middling drawback. And comedy is not her thing: Bernstein's "Glitter and Be Gay" is way too hammy. --David Patrick Stearns

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20 Lowest new price: $96.69
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Model: 2192957

Considering that Stravinsky's Rite of Spring has been around for nearly a century, it's surprising that even today, conductors literally get lost while attempting to beat through it--and that goes for some of the biggest names. Difficult as the piece is, conductors have no excuse for major lapses, now that this recording is available for study. Bernstein not only keeps complete control of the complex rhythms and constantly-switching meters throughout the work but he also interprets it with fire and sweep and emotional versatility. The Firebird is equally breathtaking. It's priceless, too, for the fabulous horn solo played by the New York Philharmonic's legendary James Chambers. --Gwendolyn Freed

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Live in Brussels

Live in Brussels Lowest new price: $7.09
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ARGERICH MARTHA / MAISKY MISCHA IN CONCERT

The duo of cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Martha Argerich is known for the virtuoso flair they bring to their performances. This recording from a 2003 Brussels concert is no exception. The way they tear into the wild second movement Allegro of the Shostakovich, with both artists rattling off its grotesqueries at warp speed, will have you at the edge of your chair. They're as admirable in the brooding Largo of that work and in conveying the rhapsodic Romanticism of the Prokofiev Sonata. At times they can seem self-indulgent, lingering over phrases in both of those Sonatas and teasing the lines in Stravinsky's Suite italienne, which the composer arranged for cello and piano from his Pulcinella ballet. But the flip side of that is the spontaneity that they achieve here, and even when pianissimos are taken down to the barely audible or diminuendos are exaggerated, the effects are too thrilling to complain about. Here's another must-have for their many fans. --Dan Davis

Features:

  • ARGERICH MARTHA / MAISKY MISCHA IN CONCERT

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Orchestral Excerpts for Flute

Orchestral Excerpts for Flute Lowest new price: $10.40
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Brand: Summit Records

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Boulez conducts Stravinsky: Le Chant du Rossignol / The Soldier's Tale / Suite Scherzo fantastique / Le Roi des etoiles

Boulez conducts Stravinsky: Le Chant du Rossignol / The Soldier's Tale / Suite Scherzo fantastique / Le Roi des etoiles Lowest new price: $10.10
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Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms / Symphony in Three Movements / Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms / Symphony in Three Movements / Symphonies of Wind Instruments Lowest new price: $15.78
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Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms / Symphony in Three Movements / Symphonies of Wind Instruments

In a way that oddly prefigures the stance of the "holy minimalists" so currently popular, Stravinsky declared that a motive behind composing his Symphony of Psalms was his "eagerness to counter the many composers who had abused these magisterial verses as pegs for their own lyrico-sentimental 'feelings'." The result issued in one of the 20th century's most perfect choral masterpieces. For all its objective austerity (violins, violas, and clarinets are exiled from the score), the piece is awash in fresh new sound colors and rhythmic vitality (with some family likeness to those Stravinsky explored in Les Noces and Oedipus Rex), ending in a poem of praise (Psalm 150) that radiantly answers the uneasy waiting of the middle movement (Psalm 40). Pierre Boulez maintains the necessary level of diaphanous precision, though he is a measure too sensuous, forceful, and even fast compared with Stravinsky's own visionary account of the work, enveloping the final "Alleluia" in an undeniably beautiful but seductive sheen. Boulez also offers a finely etched, incisive reading of Stravinsky's wartime Symphony in Three Movements that is strong on its astringent ironies. The composer's interests were clearly geared to the symphony more as an exploration of possible sound worlds than to its traditional form, even in his most neoclassical period, as in the ritualistic gestures of the Symphonies of Wind Instuments. It's a nice snapshot of earlier Stravinsky, though this disc would be even more compelling if it had instead included the Symphony in C to make a compendium of his best symphonies such as can be found on Georg Solti's Stravinsky collection. But listeners familiar with only the great Stravinsky ballets have a goldmine left to discover in these works. --Thomas May

Features:

  • Deutsche Grammophon

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Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy Lowest new price: $9.41
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Model: 1992036

Gergiev's is a Rite of Spring with a difference. He stresses the primitive barbarism of Stravinsky's groundbreaking score--the strange wheezings of the winds, the wild yawps of the tubas, and the deep rumblings of the bass drum. It's a Rite that stands out at a time when so many internationalized western orchestras give the piece an overlay of sophisticated polish that can rob it of the shock factor that drove the audience at the Paris premiere to riot. There are also numerous personal touches that can be controversial, such as the pause before the final chord, which may bother some but which work in the context of the interpretation. Gergiev's Rite faces strong competition from recorded versions by Markevitch, Dorati, Monteux, and Stravinsky himself, but it's definitely among the top choices. The Scriabin's less compelling, though still fascinating. Gergiev's approach tends to sound sectional, as the overall line is subordinated to momentary thrills. --Dan Davis

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale Lowest new price: $14.98
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Model: 2026137

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