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Stravinsky: Symphony Of Psalms, Symphony In Three Movements / Boulez, Berlin Po


Release Date: 02/08/2000 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 457616   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraBerlin Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An unexpected but revelatory disc.

Pierre Boulez here records two of Stravinsky's major symphonic works for the first time in his career, and the results are predictably excellent. Boulez once expressed less sympathy for Stravinsky's works of the 1930s and '40s, from which the Symphony of Psalms and Symphony in Three Movements date, than for the composer's early, groundbreaking Russian works, but no such reservations are apparent in the carefully planned yet spontaneous sounding performances he leads here. The earlier 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments,' which Boulez has previously recorded, is equally idiomatic here, with the quasi-liturgical chorales and litanies sounding like a precursor for aspects of the Symphony of
Read more Psalms. This juxtaposition also brings out the almost barbaric, forcefully expressive aspects of the latter work, whose sublimated march rhythms then form a bridge to the violent outbursts of the Symphony in Three Movements.
All the care for precision of timbre, balance, articulation and overall effect that Boulez has displayed in his other recent recordings of modernist classics are evident here as well. Time and again, the listener is struck by the rightness of Boulez' choices and the sounds he elicits from the Berlin Philharmonic, not to mention the skill of Deutsche Grammophon's engineers in vividly conveying these performances.

REVIEWS:

"...Though the Berlin playing is brilliant, Boulez never goads it into extravagance....Boulez shows that the intellectual force of this music comes out best when the adrenalin is staunched but the score's articulative detail is given proper value..."

- International Record Review, [3/00, p.58]

The Symphony in Three Movements brings a violent approach from Boulez, with the Berliners relishing the jazzy outbursts of the outer movements and the warmth of the central slow movement. An unexpected but revelatory disc. The results are refined rather than biting in the Symphony of Psalms and Wind Symphonies, where Boulez's restraint combined with beautifully molded ensemble gives way to dramatic power only at key climaxes. The poignancy of the Wind Symphonies is reinforced, and the beauty of the Symphony of Psalms culminates in a glowing account of the final apotheosis, one of Stravinsky's most sublime inspirations.

- Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music, 2008 Edition, [p. 1326]
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930/1948; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1996 
Venue:  Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Ver: 1948 
2. Symphony in Three Movements by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1945; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/1996 
Venue:  Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3. Symphonies of Wind Instruments by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1996 
Venue:  Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 16 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphonies for Wind Instruments
Symphonie de Psaumes: 1. Exaudi orationem meam, Domine
Symphonie de Psaumes: 2. Expectans expectavi Dominum
Symphonie de Psaumes: 3. Alleluia, laudate Dominum
Symphony in 3 Movements: 1. Allegro
Symphony in 3 Movements: 2. Andante - Interlude (L'istesso tempo)-
Symphony in 3 Movements: 3. Con moto

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