Notes and Editorial Reviews
After the tremendous success of his early ballets, Igor Stravinsky changed focus in several ways, from modernism to neoclassicism, and from large ensembles to very small ones. 'The Soldier's Tale' was part of this change, a theater piece for three actors and seven musicians, with music that reflected distinctly non-Russian influences such as tango and ragtime. The work has become most popular in suite form, partly because C. F. Ramuz's sing-song spoken text, originally in French, is seen by many as tiresome and overly moralistic. In this performance, the text is heard in a popular English translation by Michael Flanders. Nicholas Ward leads the Northern Chamber Orchestra in a solid performance that features nice solo turns from all concerned, including Ward himself on violin. The disc also includes Stravinsky's ersatz Brandenburg, the "Dumbarton Oaks" Concerto in E flat.