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Stravinsky: Rite of Spring, Firebird / Simonov, RPO

Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog #: 28290   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In this Rite, one notices the precise rhythmic execution, but it doesn't straightjacket the balletic nature of the piece. Tempos never feel extreme, and they suit the individual episodes. Simonov doesn't impose an agenda onto the music, and the results are extremely satisfying, if not in the revelatory manner of Boulez (Sony and DG). The sense of impending doom is well managed in Part 2—the pulse never slackens, even at the stately tempo of the "Evocation of the Ancestors." The "Sacrificial Dance" is brilliantly evoked; the complex rhythms are not smoothed over, but they are not allowed to degenerate into chaos.

In The Firebird, the Introduction provides a properly mysterious setting, similar to that which
Read more Boulez achieves on his complete ballet recording with the Chicago Symphony (DG). Simonov proceeds more slowly, and the tempos in general are on the slow side, but not to the detriment of the music. Once again the RPO manages the sumptuous orchestration with distinction, the famous "Infernal Dance" a particular highlight. I prefer the complete ballet, but this makes a very generous coupling for the Rite. In fact, even at mid price, the only similar pairing would be found on two-disc sets by Bernstein and Abbado (both DG); at budget price (as this is), the only competition is a venerable BSO offering with Leinsdorf and Ozawa (RCA). This digital disc features a somewhat resonant acoustic, with clear, spacious sound, excellent instrumental definition, and close but not intrusive miking—in short, sound that can match the best full-price issues.

– Christopher Abbot, Fanfare, reviewing a previous issue of this recording Read less

Works on This Recording

Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  England 
Length: 34 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Switzerland (1911 - 1913).
Composition revised: USA (1943). 
Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919/1945;   
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  England 
Length: 28 Minutes 27 Secs. 

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