Stravinsky: Pulcinella, Le Baiser De La Fée / Craft, Et Al

Release Date: 1/17/2006
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8557503
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Conductor: Robert Craft
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
These performances were released previously by Koch, and it's good to see them reappearing here at budget price. Like most of Robert Craft's Stravinsky discs, this is very, very good, and questioning the conductor's authority in this music is tantamount to casting doubt on the composer himself (though not on his own hit-and-miss conducting!). The coupling is apt: both works are based on earlier music--Gallo and Pergolesi (for the most part) on the one hand, Tchaikovsky on the other. As Craft points out in his notes, however, Pulcinella remains comparatively faithful to the originals, with changes principally in terms of rhythm and scoring. The Fairy's Kiss, though, takes Tchaikovsky's tunes as a starting point, modifying them considerably, with most of the music being effectively original. Compared to the reference recordings above, Craft can appear to value precision over sheer excitement (as in the finale of Pulcinella), but this is quibbling: overall he gets fine results from both orchestras as well as from his three singers (in Pulcinella). If you're looking for both ballets complete, the combination of value and artistic quality on offer here speaks for itself.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Pulcinella by Igor Stravinsky
Performer: Diana Montague (Mezzo Soprano), Mark Beesley (Bass), Robin Leggate (Tenor)
Conductor: Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
2. Le baiser de la fée by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor: Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1928/1950 ; France
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