on May 26, 2004
Who better to interpret a composer's music than the composer himself? This CD is an excellent introduction to these 20th-century masterworks. THREE MOVEMENTS bristles with explosive energy and PSALMS is austere and perfectly controlled, the lines of polyphony in the second movement coming through with extraordinary clarity. Not only is this a great recording, but it is an important historical document which tells us how Stravinsky intended these works to sound. As such, it could be an important reference to other conductors. I enjoyed this recording very much and I highly recommend it.
on July 7, 2004
Igor Stravinsky conducts three of his own masterpieces in this compilation of recordings from the 1960's. SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS was inspired by wartime newsreels. The vitriolic outer movements show definite jazz and big-band influence - which the CBC orchestra glories in - while the second movement is of a classical tranquility and grace. The elegant SYMPHONY IN C was meant as a tribute to Haydn and Bach; but the haunting, unresolved bitonal chord that dissolves into silence in the end makes the work quintessentially modern. And the SYMPHONY OF PSALMS, one of the great religious works of the 20th century, is heavenly music; Stravinsky and his forces give it an austere reading of almost chamber-music clarity. These performances leave nothing to be desired. This CD has become one of my most prized recordings.