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Stravinsky: Apollo, Etc / Bashmet, Moscow Soloists

Release Date: 03/20/2007 
Label:  Onyx   Catalog #: 4017   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievIgor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Soloists
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These performances are outstanding. In Apollo, Yuri Bashmet and Co. manage to put more meat on the bones of this music than you might ever dream possible, without ever compromising its elegant, restrained, neoclassical aesthetic. The key to their success is a wide dynamic range and rich string sonority allied to the necessary rhythmic acuity. Listen to how they dig into the "big tune" at the climax of The Birth of Apollo, or notice the wonderfully fleet and punchy rhythms in the penultimate scene when Apollo dances with all of the muses. The final apotheosis is also just that: haunting but never dragging, and perfectly satisfying in its feeling of finality. This is the kind of performance
Read more that may win a few converts to the cause.

Remarkably, the same observations apply to the performance of the Concerto in D, one of Stravinsky's most arid and cerebral creations. Again, it's the treatment of rhythm that does the trick: the music in the outer movements trips along with an unusually purposeful and (yes) charming demeanor, and never comes to sound like empty note-spinning. It's a performance that, incidentally, really does vindicate Stravinsky's view that his music needs to be played strictly by the score. This doesn't mean coldly or inexpressively, but the fact is that if the interpreters really apply themselves to realizing what he wrote before adding their own "ideas", they will likely enjoy much greater success.

Rudolf Barshai arranged some 13 of Prokofiev's Visions fugitives for string orchestra, and Bashmet supplements the previous effort with the remaining seven numbers in transcriptions by Roman Balashov. If I find these brief, quirky pieces more effective in their original keyboard guises, it's not to disparage the excellence of the playing or the aptness of the conducting. The whole set of 20 makes a fine bonus, and of course juxtaposing Stravinsky and Prokofiev in this way is interesting in and of itself. The sonics are perfect: ideally warm and natural. You should find yourself returning to this exceptional disc often.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Visions fugitives (20) for Piano, Op. 22 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1917; Russia 
Venue:  Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 26 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Arrangers: Rudolf Barshai; Roman Balashov.
Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany (07/11/2006 - 07/14/2006)
Composition written: Russia (1915 - 1917). 
Apollo by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Venue:  Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany (07/11/2006 - 07/14/2006) 
Concerto for String Orchestra in D major by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Venue:  Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Neuhardenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany (07/11/2006 - 07/14/2006) 

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