Author Topic: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring  (Read 38147 times)

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Offline MDL

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2008, 04:02:16 AM »
Here's the results of Radio 3's "Building a Library" recommendations for Rite of Spring from June 2004:

First Choice:

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Yoel Levi (conductor)
(recorded 1991; c/w Pulcinella Suite)
TELARC CD 80266 (CD)

Runner-up Choice:

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle (recorded 1987; c/w Apollo)
EMI 749636 2 (CD)
Budget-Price Choices:
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati (conductor) (recorded 1981; c/w Petrushka)
DECCA 448 226-2 (CD, budget)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras (conductor)
(recorded 1987; c/w Fireworks, Op.4; Circus Polka; Greeting Prelude ‘Happy Birthday’)
CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE CFP 5 73441 2 8 (CD, budget)
Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor) (recorded 1989; c/w The Firebird)
SONY SBK89894 (CD, budget)
Philharmonia Orchestra, Eliahu Inbal (conductor) (recorded 1989; c/w Petrouchka; The Firebird; Scherzo Fantastique, Op.3)
ULTIMA 0630189642 (2-CD, budget)
Historic Choices:
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski (conductor) (recorded 1929 & 1930; c/w BACH – STOKOWSKI Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,
BWV 565; TCHAIKOVSKY Nutcracker Suite; DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; MUSSORGSKY–STOKOWSKI A Night on the Bare Mountain)
PEARL GEMM CD 9488 (CD, mid-price)
Philharmonia Orchestra, Igor Markevitch (conductor) (recorded 1959; c/w their 1951 Rite of Spring recording)
TESTAMENT SBT 1076 (CD, mid-price)


............

I'm not a big fan of Stravinsky but I usually try to keep my CD collection stocked up with the best of the best known works of the top 30 or so composers.  The main source of CD advice I take seriously is from "Building a Library". The version of Rite of Spring I like is Markevich/Philharmonia Orchestra (1959) (TESTAMENT SBT 1076), which I bought it a few years ago having listened to a few alternatives but I can't recall which they were.   




Excellent! Thanks, Topaz. So the most recent winner was the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Yoel Levi?! WTF?! Has anyone heard this?

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2008, 07:31:29 AM »
Excellent! Thanks, Topaz. So the most recent winner was the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Yoel Levi?! WTF?! Has anyone heard this?

I haven't heard it. But Michael Oliver, reviewing the recording for Gramophone, really disliked it:

For all this directness, however, and a dynamic range that will have you cowering behind the sofa, menace and ferocity are absent, replaced in the ''Sacrificial Dance'' by a ruthless, vociferous efficiency. More than usual it was a relief to turn to Chailly's Decca reading, whose urgency comes from the notes and is not imposed, and whose recording, compared to both the newcomers, impresses by its naturalness.

Of course, not having heard it myself, I don't know which reviewer to believe. It's either crap or the best you can buy  ;D


Sarge
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 07:39:22 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline MDL

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2008, 07:42:25 AM »
I haven't heard it. But Michael Oliver, reviewing the recording for Gramophone, really disliked it:

For all this directness, however, and a dynamic range that will have you cowering behind the sofa, menace and ferocity are absent, replaced in the ''Sacrificial Dance'' by a ruthless, vociferous efficiency. More than usual it was a relief to turn to Chailly's Decca reading, whose urgency comes from the notes and is not imposed, and whose recording, compared to both the newcomers, impresses by its naturalness.

Of course, not having heard it myself, I don't know which reviewer to believe. It's either crap or the best you can buy  ;D


Sarge

Well, I know that the Chailly recording is excellent, so I'm willing to take Michael Oliver's word regarding Levi.

Offline Montpellier

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2008, 08:31:39 AM »
Worth giving a listen to the four-hands version by Benjamin Frith and Peter Hill.  Rather difficult to play, I'd guess, but a very good arrangement made by Stravinsky probably for rehearsals.

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//8553386.htm

,

Offline MDL

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2008, 08:41:43 AM »
Number one for me is usually Boulez (Sony), but on other days it is Karajan's first.



I expect the BBC program will choose Rattle. ;D

Karajan's first recording?! Oooh, controversial!! The one Stravinsky himself rubbished as "tempo di hoochie-coochie", or words to that effect? I really like Karajan's second recording, even though the brass sound far too rounded and civilised, as if they'd rather be playing Brahms, and the sudden disappearance of what had been a very loud and very impressive tam-tam in the Sacrificial Dance is bloody annoying. But Karajan's first effort is one of the strangest Rites I've ever heard.

BorisG

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2008, 01:28:22 PM »
Karajan's first recording?! Oooh, controversial!! The one Stravinsky himself rubbished as "tempo di hoochie-coochie", or words to that effect? I really like Karajan's second recording, even though the brass sound far too rounded and civilised, as if they'd rather be playing Brahms, and the sudden disappearance of what had been a very loud and very impressive tam-tam in the Sacrificial Dance is bloody annoying. But Karajan's first effort is one of the strangest Rites I've ever heard.

Stravinsky could be puzzling. While supporting Bernstein's fierce 1958 and denouncing Karajan's fierce 1964,
he went on to like Karajan's tamer 1977.

Offline edward

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2008, 01:46:20 PM »
Stravinsky could be puzzling. While supporting Bernstein's fierce 1958 and denouncing Karajan's fierce 1964,
he went on to like Karajan's tamer 1977.

Stravinsky liked a recording from 1977? Interesting. ;)
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BorisG

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2008, 02:00:42 PM »
Stravinsky liked a recording from 1977? Interesting. ;)

Spoiler. ;)

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2008, 04:10:19 PM »
Stravinsky liked a recording from 1977? Interesting. ;)

Gertrude Hammerbacher channeled Stravinsky's ghost and one of the things he said was, how much he admired the kinder, gentler Karajan.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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Offline techniquest

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2008, 10:04:42 AM »
The winner this time on Building a Library was the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Peter Eotvos on BMC. Runners up included Gergiev with the Kirov (predictably), Rattle and the CBSO and also the great 2nd Markevitch recording which I reckon would have won were it recorded to todays exacting standards. No sign of the Plodiv Philharmonic.... :(

Offline drogulus

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2008, 10:17:28 AM »
Have you heard his fiercer 1958 with NYPO? I have the LP. The CD was available shortly in the Sony Royal series. Its availability now, I believe, is confined to a rather large boxset. Japan may occasionally be a possibility.


    I haven't heard the 1958. This is the "Wow!" one, right (Stravinsky's reaction)?
   
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lukeottevanger

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2008, 10:27:52 AM »
The winner this time on Building a Library was the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Peter Eotvos on BMC. Runners up included Gergiev with the Kirov (predictably), Rattle and the CBSO and also the great 2nd Markevitch recording which I reckon would have won were it recorded to todays exacting standards. No sign of the Plodiv Philharmonic.... :(

...but I thought Cowan's insistence that this was one work where a single recording will not do was interesting - his line is that the piece is so full of dramatic moments that no recording can do them all justice. He therefore recommended living with a recording for a few months before moving onto another. So his final choice was of a recording which covered as many bases and as much of the detail as possible, whilst remembering that the piece is a ballet - the Eotvos; the Gergiev he saw as having all the possible 'dirt' but lacking in some detail (I wouldn't have believed this but listening to some of his excerpts his hard to deny); and the Rattle as the opposite of this. So, dirt, detail and dance were his three main criteria!

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2008, 10:46:14 AM »
The winner this time on Building a Library was the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Peter Eotvos on BMC. Runners up included Gergiev with the Kirov (predictably), Rattle and the CBSO and also the great 2nd Markevitch recording which I reckon would have won were it recorded to todays exacting standards. No sign of the Plodiv Philharmonic.... :(

I must say that, listening to the broadcast today through my somewhat inadequate pc speakers, I liked the excerpts from the Markevitch better than any. I used to have it on a CfP LP. A shame CfP didn't see fit to reissue it at their very attractive bargain price. Testament issues tend to be a little more expensive, though still not bad at around £10.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

lukeottevanger

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2008, 10:49:10 AM »
Yes, I agree, the Markevitch was stunning - it really stood out, just as I was being to become overRitened. I have that Testament CD, but I've never been able to get more than 3 or 4 minutes in as it is a (very) faulty pressing  >:(

BorisG

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2008, 12:46:10 PM »
    I haven't heard the 1958. This is the "Wow!" one, right (Stravinsky's reaction)?
   

Yes, that is correct. Why Sony has resisted reissuing this is anybody's guess.

BorisG

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2008, 12:49:00 PM »
Yes, I agree, the Markevitch was stunning - it really stood out, just as I was being to become overRitened. I have that Testament CD, but I've never been able to get more than 3 or 4 minutes in as it is a (very) faulty pressing  >:(

I had a clean Testament copy before I culled it. Overrated I thought.

Offline drogulus

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2008, 02:42:06 PM »
Yes, that is correct. Why Sony has resisted reissuing this is anybody's guess.


    I searched around for the 1958 Bernstein. You can get it used for $40.00 and up.



     A few years ago they were selling these Royal Editions for $9.99 on sale.
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Drasko

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2008, 06:30:35 PM »
I had a clean Testament copy before I culled it. Overrated I thought.

Don't feel bad, people make mistakes all the time.

BorisG

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2008, 08:09:11 PM »
Don't feel bad, people make mistakes all the time.

There are much fewer Markevitch "Rite" recommendations these days. I guess people actually started listening and comparing. Another urban legend fades. :)

Drasko

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Re: Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2008, 08:46:39 PM »
There are much fewer Markevitch "Rite" recommendations these days. I guess people actually started listening and comparing. Another urban legend fades. :)

People can correct mistakes, but denial is never good starting point. :)

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