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Stravinsky: Firebird, Petrouchka, Le Sacre Du Printemps, Orpheus / Davis, Royal Concertgebouw


Release Date: 01/15/2002 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 464744   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 27 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a most stimulating set. Colin Davis has something to say about all of these works, the orchestral playing is often breathtakingly wonderful, and all is captured in sound of magnificent realism. Davis takes a sumptuous view of the Rite of Spring. Many of Stravinsky's orchestral colors are realized more vividly here than by most rivals. (The 5/4 sections of the concluding "Sacrificial Dance" are especially fine, the percussion managing to drive the orchestra without overwhelming it.) There are a few slips here and there; some are traditional misreadings found in virtually all recordings, and some are outright clangers that should have been fixed. Where Davis triumphs is in his ability to give the score (indeed, all these Read more scores) a sense of momentum that many rival performances lack. (Other conductors typically project the Rite with more raw power, but as an ultimately less involving set of intricate tableaux.) These performances also benefit from some truly magnificent playing--the opening bassoon solo hints at the joys to come. (Who is the player? Surely this solo played this well deserves a credit.) The recording features commendably realistic sound, with no gratuitous spot-miking--Philips' engineers no doubt correctly reasoned that such a great orchestra in such a great hall needed no special intervention.


Petrushka (here in the 1947 version) gets similar treatment. There are moments of wonderful insight, moments of spectacular playing, and some unfortunate letdowns--the linking drum passages are disappointingly irregular, the famous trumpet solo is rather precarious, and the (again, unnamed) pianist is somewhat lackluster. Against this, the conclusion (dropped tambourine and all) is moving like few others on disc, and there are moments of true orchestral splendor--as well as individual quirkiness, particularly in the bassoon section.


But it is The Firebird--opulent, rich-hued, finely detailed--that is the glory of this set. The pizzicato basses at the beginning are clearly audible as an articulation of the smoother accompanying music, to excellent effect. Kashchei's "Infernal Dance" is no less exhilarating for not being the usual undifferentiated rant, and gains immensely from being presented in context. Most importantly, the full ballet does not outstay its welcome when it is so gloriously played, directed, and recorded. This is competitive with any of the current complete Firebirds, whatever the price.


The main competition in this coupling comes from Claudio Abbado's budget set of ballets on Deutsche Grammophon, with a shrilly close-miked (but otherwise excellent) Rite, only the suite from Firebird, and a near-definitive Petrushka in the 1911 version (with Jeu de Cartes and a fine Pulcinella to boot). But you can safely buy the Davis set for the complete Firebird alone. You will also get an attractive rarity in Orpheus (not unlike the Symphony in Three Movements), and renditions of the Rite and Petrushka that more than make up in musicality the little they lack in precision.
--Carl Rosman, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Date of Recording: 11/1976 
Venue:  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Length: 34 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Switzerland (1911 - 1913).
Composition revised: USA (1943). 
2.
Firebird by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1978 
Venue:  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Length: 46 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1909 - 1910). 
3.
Pétrouchka by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 10/1977 
Venue:  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Length: 33 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: 1947
Composition written: Switzerland (1911).
Composition revised: 1947. 
4.
Orpheus by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/1964 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 31 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: Introduction - The Harbingers of Spring
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: Dance of the Adolescents
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: 3. Mock Abduction
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: 4. Spring Rounds
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: 5. Games of the Rival Tribes
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: 6. Procession of the Sage
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth: 7. Adoration of the Earth (The Sage), Dance of the Earth
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 1. Introduction
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 2. Mystical Circle of the Adolescents
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 3. Glorification of the Chosen One
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 4. Evocation of the Ancestors
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 5. Ritual of the Ancestors
Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: The Sacrifice: 6. Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 1: The Shrovetide Fair - The Crowds - The Conjuring-trick
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 1: Russian Dance
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 2: Petrouchka's Room
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 3: The Moor's Room - Dance of the Ballerina
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 3: Waltz (The Ballerina and the Moor)
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: Dance of the Wet-nurses
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: Dance of the Peasant and the Bear
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: The Merchant and the Gipsies
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: Dance of the Coachmen and the Grooms
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: The Masqueraders
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: The Scuffle
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: Death of Petrouchka
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: The Police and the Charlatan
Petrouchka - Version 1947 - Scene 4: Apparition of Petrouchka's Ghost
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Introduction
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Kashchei's enchanted garden
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Appearance of the Firebird pursued by Ivan Tsarevich
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Dance of the Firebird
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Ivan Tsarevich captures the Firebird
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Supplication of the Firebird
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Game of the Princesses with the golden apples
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Sudden appearance of Ivan Tsarevich
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Round dance of the Princesses
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Daybreak
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Magic carillon, appearance of Kashchei's guardian monsters and capture of Ivan Tsarevich
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Dance of Kashchei's retinue under the spell of the Firebird
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Infernal dance of all Kashchei's subject's
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Lullaby of the Firebird
The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Ballet (1910): Collapse of Kashchei's palace and dissolution of all enchantments - Reanimation of the petrified prisoners - General rejoicing
Orpheus - Ballet in 3 Scenes: 1st scene
Orpheus - Ballet in 3 Scenes: 2nd scene
Orpheus - Ballet in 3 Scenes: 3rd scene

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Sir Colin Did it Again August 26, 2014 By David H Cooper (Rio Rancho, NM) See All My Reviews "This collection confirms the taste and genius of Colin Davis." Report Abuse
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