Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Persephone; Firebird
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|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
|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
|1. Persephone: The Abduction Of Persephone - I. Stravinsky|
|2. Persephone: Persephone In The Underworld - I. Stravinsky|
|3. Persephone: Persephone Reborn - I. Stravinsky|
Here's a Stravinsky set to raise eyebrows. Where is Petrouchka, the standard coupling for Firebird and Rite in collections of the great early Stravinsky ballet scores? Instead, we get the too rarely heard Perséphone, and it's the highlight of the set. Premiered in 1934 to a text by André Gide, Perséphone is a retelling of the Greek fertility myth of the earth's winter death and spring renewal. The tale drew from Stravinsky some of his most delicate and beautiful music in the neoclassical style of the period, a sibling to the ballets Apollo and Orpheus and the cantata Oedipus Rex (it also includes string figures that recall those works).
Stephanie Cosserat, in the title role, is a youthfully persuasive narrator, very different from Vera Zorina's oracular reciter on Stravinsky's own recording. Stuart Neill's tenor is a big plus, and the orchestra and chorus play and sing with involvement. Michael Tilson Thomas brings out the cool tenderness of the score, and the recording, made at a live performance, is truthful. His Firebird is lushly dramatic, and the Rite's barbaric thrust is leavened by some soulful wind playing. Recorded competition in the two ballets is fierce (along with Gergiev's recent Firebird on Philips, there are classic versions by Ansermet, Dorati, Haitink, and others, including the composer) but Perséphone makes this set an attractive proposition. --Dan Davis
Top Customer Reviews
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan
Persophone is an abosolute gem of a work. Rarely performed or heard on the radio, SFS took a chance in putting in on this CD in lieu of the often coupled Petroushka. The soloists are superb.
Le Sacre du Printemps is a challenge for any orchestra, but this group is able to make it seem easy yet full of life. This interpretation can easily be compared to many of the great recordings. The brass are clear and pristine, the strings lush and, when need be, brash, the ensemble playing, succinct.
I have always preferred the full ballet version of the Firebird over the suite for reasons of orchestration and a fuller effect on the lister. There is so much more life in the full ballet, which can be heard with MTT and the SFS. It is dramatic, lush, powerful, full of life, colorful, and eminates youthful exhuberence. The winds in this recording bring such vitality to their parts.
If there were any complaints I would have for the recording, it would be Bernstein's influence on MTT sprouting in the score, from a few fermatas held too long and rubato that didn't seem to work. Nevertheless, the energy that this group puts into the piece is phenomenal and breathtaking.
Aside from the restraint, which brought Tilson Thomas's Sacre back towards the pack of other recordings available, the main problem (or asset, depending on your equipment) with Le Sacre was the engineering. The dynamic range was too great for my (otherwise good) car stereo. The openings of both Le Sacre and Firebird were so quiet as to be inaudible unless I turned up the volume almost to the max, but then the climaxes were deafening. In addition, the bass was overemphasized. I heard reverberating bass drums in this recording I never heard before, and in some places, such as in the final dance, I would have preferred that they blend into the overall sound more than they did.
I much prefer the complete Firebird to the suite, and this recording has it. There is so much wonderful music in the full ballet that is left out of the suite. I was enjoying it a great deal until Katschi's famous dance, where I had a sense that some parts of the orchestra wanted to push the tempo more urgently than other parts of the orchestra did.
In contrast to the othet two works, I had never heard Persephone before. It contains some of the most delicate and lyrical music I've ever heard in Stravinsky, without a doubt a high point of his neoclassical period. In this recording the chorus and orchestra are beautiful, and I loved the meltingly lyrical sound of the recited French of Persephone (text by Andre Gide).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2004 by scifiman5
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2002 by philistine
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2001 by Keith Peters
While I understand that everyone is entitled to their own viewa and opinions, I don't understand how anyone can think this set overrated. Read morePublished on April 26 2001 by Paul Swindale
Having borrowed these recordings, I was very impressed at first by both the performance and the quality of the recording, which probably played a lot in favour of the grammy. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2001
I have to comment on an earlier review of mine in which I called Perséphone is absolutely beautiful; it isn't, and not even Stephanie Cosserat's voice can save it after... Read morePublished on Dec 14 2000
I agree that this is an absolutely wonderful set, however I think that the thing that makes it most special is Persephone. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2000
I'd likely give this review a higher rating if I liked Stravinsky - I don't. But it gets excellent marks nontheless for the superb playing by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San... Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2000 by Christopher M. Adams
Look for similar items by category
- Music > Box Sets > Classical > Ballets & Dances
- Music > Box Sets > Classical > General
- Music > Box Sets > Classical > Symphonies
- Music > Classical > Ballets & Dances > Ballets
- Music > Classical > Ballets & Dances > Historical Periods
- Music > Classical > Forms & Genres > Symphonies
- Music > Classical > Historical Periods
- Music > Classical > Symphonies