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Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps / Bernstein, New York Philharmonic

Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 546915   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is the missing link, the major recording that Sony/BMG omitted from its 10-CD Rite of Spring box. This isn’t the best played performance in terms of technical perfection, but it has an excitement, spontaneity, and primal fury that no other version quite matches. It fully deserves its legendary status. Perhaps its most remarkable moment occurs during the Sacrificial Dance. Bernstein begins swiftly, then holds back in the central section, layering on the sonority and building tension before sprinting forward thrillingly in the final pages (sound clip). It’s a unique conception that he never repeated (at least not to the same degree), a true spur-of-the-moment inspiration.

Read more remastering has been excellently done. Notwithstanding the age of the recording (55 years!), this has to be one of the most detailed and realistically engineered performances available. While there are a couple instances of perilous ensemble, the playing as such is magnificent, and the orchestra’s principal trumpet, horn, and woodwinds, renowned players all, contribute countless memorable moments, vividly captured with tactile presence. No wonder Stravinsky heard this performance and reportedly was left speechless, save for an admiring “Wow!”

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

Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Date of Recording: 01/20/1958 
Venue:  St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York 
Length: 34 Minutes 12 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 DEFINITELY NO SLOUCH! December 12, 2014 By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL) See All My Reviews "While I was reviewing another recording of this piece---with many references to one Soupy Sales---I mentioned that there were three performances of Le Sacre I much preferred: Esa-Pekka Salonen; Pierre Monteux---and this one I just purchased, Leonard Bernstein, who I said was not exactly a slouch when it came to the Rite of Spring. Well, I have to mention this one---Bernstein was definitely no slouch conducting this work. Even with a couple of misplays, this is one of the most exciting, electrifying performances ever! Now I have three of them, to savor and delight in. Merci beaucoup!" Report Abuse
 Igor said  August 16, 2014 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "This recording has all the powerfully raw playing you would expect but it focuses on the primitive, propitiation driven religious impulse that strives to come to grip with the great unknown mysteries of existence. Johnathan Cott in his booklet essay describes how in listening to this performance he ''had a vision of the conductor-transported by the rhythms of his percussion section consisting of two timpani, bass drum, gong, guiro, tam-tam, triangle and cymbals- dancing on his podium and, in the throes of an ecstatic trance, descending into the lower world and encountering and communing with the throng of spirit animals and animal helpers that inhabit the musical realm of The Rite of Spring, all the while taking ...all of his listeners along for the journey.'' This 1958 recording was remastered in 2012 and the result is sensational. You really need to add this to your collection." Report Abuse
 Rereleased at Last September 10, 2013 By Henry Ziegler (Lakeland, FL) See All My Reviews "Bernstein championed Mahler and other modern composers. But he excelled in other musical territory, too. This recording of Le Sacre du Printemps is such a recording. The finest recording of this monumental work is from Stravinsky himself on CBS/Sony. That recording is a mandatory purchase for serious aficionados of Stravinsky. But this recording by Bernstein is just as mandatory. Stravinsky greeted this recording with "Wow!", a great tribute indeed. The documentation in this paper-sleeved reissue is pretty good, too, including a list of the Philharmonic members at the time of the recording. Bernstein manages the complexity of this score brilliantly. Bernstein may be heavily associated with Mahler, but he also deserves to be most favorably associated with Stravinsky.He was born to conduct this great, revolutionary work." Report Abuse
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