WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Stravinsky: Histoire Du Soldat, Octet / Harmonie Ensemble


Release Date: 10/23/2001 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7438   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Jane TaylorPeter SimmonsMark PeskanovIveta Bachmannova,   ... 
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


For Stravinsky completists this is a release full of pleasant surprises, a sweep of the master's studio floor for rarities. The homework was done and done well: there is indeed some unreleased material, and it's good! The pieces are all short, ranging from the terse-but-playful 35-second fanfare that opens the disc to the 25-minute suite from The Soldier's Tale that closes it. As such, the works never wear out their welcome. The Lied ohne Name for two bassoons is an exercise in slow understatement, and the Tango and the Marseillaise arrangement (both premieres) show the composer's ability to take found objects (be they a found style or his own arrangement of existing music) and make them his own.
Read more The other two "new" pieces, the Petit Ramusianum Harmonique and How the Mushrooms Went to War, are both charming and well made, and quite different from each other. In the latter, we get a glimpse of a very young composer's understanding of the prevailing musical style of his own time. If not immediately recognizable as Stravinsky, it at least demonstrates his capacity to write singing melody (and, in certain ways, to imitate Rimsky-Korsakov, his beloved teacher). This is a nice addition to this composer's sadly spare catalogue of music for piano and voice.

The now familiar Octet for wind instruments is so well played here that the disc is worth owning for the performance of this work alone--especially the fantastic and incisive flute of Judith Menenhall and Robert Yamins' rich clarinet. Lucy Shelton assays one of Stravinsky's lesser-known masterpieces, Pribaoutki, with grace and an effortless technique: hers is a voice that is quite comfortable in this repertoire, and her Russian sounds, well, Russian. Although the ensemble--expertly led by Steven Richman--plays with exceptional precision throughout, the performers never lose sight of the music's soul and spirit, allowing for interpretations of both the Octet and the Histoire suite that are faithful to the score but never precious or dry.

--Daniel Felsenfeld - ClassicsToday.com

This album was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance with or without Conductor.
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Fanfare for a New Theatre by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 0 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2. Octet for Wind Instruments by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923/1952; France 
Date of Recording: 1/10/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 15 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3. Duet for 2 Bassoons by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Jane Taylor (Bassoon), Peter Simmons (Bassoon)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4. Pastorale for Violin, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet and Bassoon by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Mark Peskanov (Violin), Iveta Bachmannova (English Horn), Robert Yamins (Clarinet),
Jane Taylor (Bassoon), Robert Ingliss (Oboe), Peter Simmons (Bassoon)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; France 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5. L'histoire du soldat: Suite for Chamber Ensemble by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Raymond Mase (Cornet), Peter Simmons (Bassoon), Robert Yamins (Clarinet),
Jonathan Haas (Percussion), Myron Lutzke (Cello), Timothy Cobb (Double Bass),
Ronald Arron (Viola)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 6/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 25 Minutes 18 Secs. 
6. Pribaoutki by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Robert Yamins (Clarinet), Myron Lutzke (Cello), Lucy Shelton (Soprano),
David Kossoff (English Horn), Richard Rood (Violin), Louis Cosma (Double Bass),
Jane Taylor (Bassoon), Judith Mendenhall (Flute), Peter Simmons (Bassoon),
Ronald Arron (Viola)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
7. Tango by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Mark Peskanov (Violin), Doris Stevenson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8. Petit Ramusianum harmonique by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Martin A. Bruns (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; France 
Date of Recording: 1/9/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: French 
9. How the Mushrooms Prepared for War by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Mikhail Svetlov (Bass), Doris Stevenson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; Russia 
Date of Recording: 6/15/1998 
Venue:  Master Sound Studios, Astoria, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
10. La Marseillaise by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Mark Peskanov (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919 
Date of Recording: 1/1998 
Venue:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 HARMONIE ENSEMBLE PLAYS STRAVINSKY November 23, 2013 By ZITA CARNO (TAMPA, FL) See All My Reviews "Absolutely delicious! I picked up this recording some time ago, and I've been listening to it time and again, and I'm thoroughly delighted with the humor as well as with the precise ensemble playing. One track that has had me laughing my head off is "How The Mushrooms Went To War", especially because of the ludicrous situation presented here. The different species won't listen to their ruler; instead, they come up with all manner of excuses---they're too old, they're sick, they're lazy, they haven't been trained for combat, you name it---sounds a lot like some members of the human species, doesn't it? And then another group speaks up: oh, they'll go to war, and they'll beat everybody to an unrecognizable pulp, hooray! I love it, I love it---as I do the entire disc." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook