Notes and Editorial Reviews
Stravinsky’s Perséphone (1934) is a dynamic music-theatrical narration of the myth of Persephone’s abduction to the underworld and return to earth. The transparent, sober but evocative music epitomizes Stravinsky’s sensuous take on Neoclassicism, and the piece showcases Stravinsky’s eclectic, original and highly personal approach to music and musical drama through a playful mixture of several genres – melodrama, song, chorus, dance and pantomime. Ultimately, Perséphone offers Stravinsky’s second ode to spring, albeit without the brutal excesses of Le Sacre. This album was recorded live during the Helsinki Festival 2017 with a star cast featuring English tenor
Andrew Staples and French actress Pauline Cheviller. They join forces with the Finnish National Opera’s chorus, children’s chorus and orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, in a breath-taking performance that lifts out the piece’s transformative power.
Radiant beauty is not a quality that is automatically associated with Stravinsky’s music. But in Perséphone he composed one of the most radiant and lyrically beautiful scores to be found anywhere in 20th-century music. It’s one of his greatest achievements. It's a beautifully modulated performance; nothing is forced, and all the elements, sung, played, and spoken, are well and carefully integrated.
– Guardian (UK) Read less
Works on This Recording
Perséphone by Igor Stravinsky
Andrew Staples (Tenor),
Pauline Cheviller (Voice)
Finnish National Opera Orchestra,
Finnish National Opera Chorus,
Finnish National Opera Children's Chorus
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1933-1934; France
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