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Firebird/Prometheus Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (Aug. 4 1998)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000DBUS
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
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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

Product Description

One seldom hears Stravinsky's original, complete, 1910 score to Diaghilev's ballet, The Firebird. Here Valery Gergiev leads the Kirov Orchestra in a muscular, well-defined rendering of the work in full. His is a decidedly controlled interpretation. Stretched out in spots to bring out clarity and significance of line, it's pushed along in others to convey urgency and melodic direction. The microphones sound very close, which only heightens the vitality of the overall texture of this interpretation. Though the group is not always precisely together and a few spots are marred by faulty intonation, the spirit and strength of conviction behind this gripping performance more than carry it off. --Gwendolyn Freed

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
No one needs debate the merits of Firebird; it is one of the great ballets of all time and a worthwhile addition to any collection. I don't like Prometheus as much, but this is a reflection on Scriabin's composing, not on Kirov's playing, Gergiev's conducting, or the engineering on this disc.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
I performed with the Kirov orchestra (I may be biased) in their American premier at Chicago's Orchestra hall where they performed Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as well as Scriabin's Prometheus (on this CD)! Watch out for the Kirov and Gergiev, truly new masters of Russian music. These guys are a must for any person who considers themselves lovers of music. The Chicago Tribune said that the Kirov brass nearly rivals that of Chicago Symphony!
Their virtuosity is clearly seen in this recording. The very end of the Firebird ballet is the most awe-inspiring of any recording hands down. Brass, brass, brass! The sound they put out is unbelivable.
The odd pairing here is Prometheus Symphony, written by Scriabin who thought he splke the words of God through his music and proclaimed himself a divine helper. Alexander Toradze is an amazing pianist from Russia how pounds on the piano to get Scriabin's effects. The pice comes to one of the loudest endings in any piece, combined with organ, orchestra (with horns pointed at the microphones), and wordless chorus (incidentally, this piece is to be played while viewing ever-chaning colors and shapes which change with special chords and melodies in the music.
Get this CD along with the most unusual interpretation, performance, and amazing recording of Kirov and Gergiev in Polovtsian Dances.
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Format: Audio CD
I wish I could write something here that would persuade people that this recording of Stravinksy's Firebird Ballet, well coupled with Scriabin's Prometheus is very much worth having, but frankly I don't think I know where to begin or how to go about it. Firebird, nevertheless, is not just Brass! Brass! Brass! as another reviewer may have been suggesting, however important that element may be, because all the elements that go into it matter, and they're all here in this recording, incredibly beautifully played. As far as I am concerned this is absolutely the only Firebird to have (I have more than this one, including Michael Tilson Thomas' Firebird Ballet and Bernstein's Firbird Suite). I'd give Gergiev's and the Kirov ten stars but I can't!
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Format: Audio CD
Both pieces on this recording show why Gergiev is one of the most acclaimed conductors in the world in this repertoire. The excitement of this recording was confirmed when I heard Gergiev and the Kirov live, performing the complete "Firebird" at Carnegie Hall. No question, there are many good versions of this extraordinary piece, but this one certainly ranks among the best.
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.
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