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Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Persephone; Firebird


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1 new from CDN$ 72.41 4 used from CDN$ 21.50

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B00000IOCZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,240 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Introduction
2. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): The Enchanted Garden Of Kaschei
3. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Apparition Of The Firebird, Followed By Ivan Tsarevitch
4. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Dance Of The Firebird
5. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Capture Of The Firebird By Ivan Tsarevitch
6. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Plea Of The Firebird; Apparition Of The Thirteen Enchanted Princesses
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Introduction
2. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - The Augurs Of Spring; Dances Of The Young Girls
3. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Ritual Of Abduction
4. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Spring Rounds
5. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Ritual Of The Rival Tribes
6. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Procession Of The Sage
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Persephone: The Abduction Of Persephone - I. Stravinsky
2. Persephone: Persephone In The Underworld - I. Stravinsky
3. Persephone: Persephone Reborn - I. Stravinsky

Customer Reviews

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By scifiman5 on Jan. 23 2004
Format: Audio CD
Probably one of my biggest regrets in my life was to be a few months too young to be on this recording with my boy chorus. Anyways, it is absolutely superb, especially Persephone (but then, I am partial, having sung it a few years later with the same symphony). This entire set is simply gorgeous.
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Format: Audio CD
This very first ballet by Stravinsky, ordered by Diaghilev and the Paris Russian Ballets, is based on a Russian tale about a magic bird that is captured by a hunter Ivan and that pleads for its release. It all starts with a very immense evocation of the empty tundra in which the hunter walks with careful steps and that he scans with his eyes and ears. The bird appears with a Russian dance that is light, energetic, bright and airlike. Ivan accepts to release the bird in exchange of one of its magical feathers. This whole bargain is evoked in variations on the theme of the bird, variations that are charming, captivating, fascinating to the point of mesmerizing Ivan who accepts the deal. Then this Ivan meets a Princess who is under the yoke of a magician, Kastchey. Ivan accepts to remain with the Princess in order to free her and he is imprisoned at once by Kastchey. But the Princess fascinates the magician with her sensual and powerful dancing that is hammering like the pulsating heart of the poor magician who is entranced and hypnotized into joining the dance. The dance then becomes a devilish macabre farandole out of which the magician cannot get any longer. During that time Ivan has found the egg that contains the magician's soul in a very soft and melodious lullaby that both depicts the soul in its tranquil captivity and the peace surrounding the hiding place of the egg. It is like the empty space of the cosmos that is only disrupted by the power of the bird's feather and its magic that breaks the egg. By liberating the soul Ivan liberates the Princess and himself and this cosmic void gets some musical flesh back as if the dance of the bird reappeared in the vast immensity of the plain. It is like a triumphing march of the liberated heroes to reconquer the world, though the very ending sounds somewhat unharmonic and frightening as if the world contained some new unknown danger somewhere.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan
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Format: Audio CD
This 3-disc set I think is one of the best Stravinsky purchases any music lover could make. Persephone is awesome, and I love the narration. The Firebird, however, is not the most exciting rendition ever, although I think the superb playing and balance of the orchestra give MTT's interpretation of the music its meaning. The standout in the set is The Right of Spring. Not only do I think it is the best recordings of it ever made, I think it is also one of the best recordings ever released of any work...ever. You will never hear tighter orchestra playing than in SFSO's Right of Spring. MTT knows exactly what he's doing at every moment; every inner voice is heard, and the flow and progression from movements feels so natural yet exciting. For those of you out there who are misinformed about the best brass sections in the country, choosing to side with the archaic has-beens of the CSO, or the egotistical competition junkies that pass for section players in the NY Phil, let me inform you, San Francisco Symphony has the best brass sections right now. Listen to the trombones, and you will hear a demonstration in power and control by Mark Lawrence and Paul Welcommer. The horns demonstrate accuracy as well as perfect blend, and Dave Kreibel cuts through the orhcestra demonically in the Procession of the Sage movement. Then there are the trumpets. Principal trumpet Glenn Fiscthal basically teaches a masterclass on modern orchestral piccolo trumpet playing with this recording. MTT asked Glenn to, quote, "Play as loud as you can" on specific parts of the piece, namely the 2nd, 5th, and 6th movements of Part 1. The effect is astounding. The woodwind playing also sets a new standard for other orchestras to be compared to. Every part blends perfectly, and the soloists are phenomenal. The percussion...Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
MTT has done an excellent job on this CD. I give Le Sacre de Printemps 5 stars, it is exciting, pulsating, primal ... a real portrait of a pagan sacrifice. L'Oiseau was well done, but disappointing in some sections. Most of the sections were beautifully done and right on the money, but I give this recording 4 stars because the infernal dances aren't fiery and energetic enough. When Kaschei and his subjects appear and begin their dance, I don't get the impression of a frightening, demonic dance. Otherwise, well done. Persephone was a strange piece that I really could not get into. The French dialogues are just too strange, half-sung half-spoken. Not much to my taste.
Once again, San Francisco sounds great under the baton of MTT.
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Format: Audio CD
Like his earlier collections of Stravinsky, Michael Tilson Thomas has again done yeoman service for the composer, coupling familiar works of Stravinsky with lesser known compositions. In this collection, he has taken Stravinsky's two most popular ballets, Firebird and Le Sacre du Printemps and combined them with his melodrama Persephone, Stravinsky's unjustly neglected work in collaboration with librettist Andre Gide and dancer Ida Rubinstein. Persephone turns out to be one of Stravinsky's most beautiful compositions (written for his second wife, Vera). Tenor Stuart Neill (aside from a few odd vowels), narrator Stephanie Cosserat, Tilson Thomas and his San Francisco forces are all magnificent for this performance which has rarely been out of my CD player since I purchased it. Le Sacre and the Firebird are wonderful as well. The engineering is top notch as is the packaging. Well deserving of the Grammies it won!
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