- Performer: Igor Stravinsky
- Audio CD (Aug. 4 1998)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Philips
- ASIN: B00000DBUS
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
|1. L'oiseau de feu: Introduction|
|2. L'oiseau de feu: Kaschei's Enchanted Garden|
|3. L'oiseau de feu: Appearance Of The Firebird Pursued By Ivan Tsarevich|
|4. L'oiseau de feu: Dance Of The Firebird|
|5. L'oiseau de feu: Ivan Tsarevich Captures The Firebird|
|6. L'oiseau de feu: Supplications Of The Firebird|
|7. L'oiseau de feu: Game Of The Princesses With The Golden Apples|
|8. L'oiseau de feu: Sudden Appearance Of Ivan Tsarevich|
|9. L'oiseau de feu: Round Dance Of The princesses|
|10. L'oiseau de feu: Daybreak|
|11. L'oiseau de feu: Magic Carillon, Appearance Of Kastchei's Guardian Monsters And Capture Of Ivan Tsarevich|
|12. L'oiseau de feu: Dance Of Kashchei's Retinue Under The Spell Of The Firebird|
|13. L'oiseau de feu: Infernal Dance Of All Kashchei's Subjects|
|14. L'oiseau de feu: Lullaby Of The Firebird|
|15. L'oiseau de feu: Collapse Of Kashshei's Palace And Dissolution Of All Enchantments - Reanimation Of The Petrified Prisoners - General Rejoicing|
|16. Prometheus - The Poem Of Fire|
In fact, the engineering on this CD is excellent, and the complete Firebird ballet is played expertly throughout. The famous Danse Infernale is driving, and the Finale is soaring and triumphant.
However, this disc does not receive a full five stars because in my mind it lacks a certain "je ne sais quoi." I really enjoy it, but I sense Gergiev and Kirov hold back a little; I sense that they could have taken it to the next level of excitement but didn't. Don't get me wrong; this CD is great, but I just expected more. And one more thing; in the microsecond of silence just before the crescendo of the last note of Firebird, there is a small scratch on the recording. I can't determine if it came on the tape they used to record the performance or from a rustle of paper or a percussionist picking up something in the concert hall, but it just barely mars the most essential moment of the entire piece. I try to overlook it, but it's something small that stands out in a big way, sort of like a splinter or a tiny pebble stuck in your shoe.
Otherwise, this is a great disc which deserves nearly all of the kudos it receives, and I don't know of a better performance to recommend instead.
In terms of sheer, visceral excitement, this is hard to beat, and it is coupled with an equally breathless performance of the Scriabin "Prometheus." The final few measures, and the final chord, make as thrilling an ending as I have heard in classical music.