Author Topic: Chez Stravinsky  (Read 165135 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1240 on: January 06, 2020, 06:05:04 PM »
That Three Greek Ballets recording from Craft is top-drawer and I’d buy it immediately. I love how each of these ballets are on the same recording forming that Grecian theme. A worthwhile purchase. My Stravinsky collection is complete so I’m merely filling in gaps at this point, but this could be said for any of my favorite composers.

Well I pulled the trigger. For $9 brand new? What the hell. (Though this is the attitude that is going to make me go broke if I let it last much longer...  ;D ...) What I found interesting about this disc is that the three Greek ballets are from very different cross sections of his career: 1928 (Apollo), 1948 (Orpheus), and 1957 (Agon) – but they all ultimately center on Stravinsky's obsession with the Neoclassical ideal. Ah, what a phenomenal composer... One of the greatest of all time, I think.

PS. I didn't realize Orpheus had been written so late in Stravinsky's career. It would fit right in with his style in the 1920s, no? I really like the Salonen/Philharmonia recording of Orpheus, which I have on a disc coupled with my favorite recording of Petrouchka.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1241 on: January 06, 2020, 06:16:48 PM »
Well I pulled the trigger. For $9 brand new? What the hell. (Though this is the attitude that is going to make me go broke if I let it last much longer...  ;D ...) What I found interesting about this disc is that the three Greek ballets are from very different cross sections of his career: 1928 (Apollo), 1948 (Orpheus), and 1957 (Agon) – but they all ultimately center on Stravinsky's obsession with the Neoclassical ideal. Ah, what a phenomenal composer... One of the greatest of all time, I think.

PS. I didn't realize Orpheus had been written so late in Stravinsky's career. It would fit right in with his style in the 1920s, no? I really like the Salonen/Philharmonia recording of Orpheus, which I have on a disc coupled with my favorite recording of Petrouchka.

Stravinsky is, indeed, an incredible composer. One of the greatest of all-time, absolutely. There’s no question about that. I’m not sure I’d agree that Orpheus would fit in with his style from the 1920s. We have to remember that he was still under this Neoclassical spell well into the ‘50s. I believe around the mid-50s or so is when he started to experiment with Serialism. I love all periods of his compositional development, but, lately, I’ve taken quite a shine to his Serialist period mainly because I still feel it’s his most overlooked period. Agon is one of the great examples of how he used 12-tone technique. Of course, Stravinsky being Stravinsky, be brought his own personality to the music and made it his own.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 06:19:03 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1242 on: January 07, 2020, 08:44:33 AM »
^Maybe I’m not familiar enough with his works from the 1940s, but all I mean is that it sounds more akin to Apollo than, say, the Symphony in 3 Movements.

I agree that his serial music is amazing and still has just as much of that distinct Stravinskyan flavor as anything else he wrote earlier. I especially love the Requiem Canticles, an amazing work. I need to hear Agon. Looking forward to getting that Craft disc with it.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1243 on: January 07, 2020, 08:50:00 AM »
All I can say is I wish Stravinsky wrote more chamber music, especially string quartets.

Edit: It seems he has composed more chamber music than I initially thought -

Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914)
Pour Pablo Picasso, piece for clarinet (1917)
Canon for Two Horns (1917)
Ragtime for Eleven Instruments (1917–18)
Duet for Two Bassoons, "Lied ohne Namen" (1918)
Suite from L'Histoire du soldat, for violin, clarinet, and piano (1919)
Three Pieces for Clarinet (1919)
Concertino, for string quartet (1920)
Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920, rev. 1947)
Octet for Wind Instruments (1923)
Suite on themes, fragments and pieces by Giambattista Pergolesi, for violin and piano (1925)
Duo Concertant for Violin and Piano (1932)
Suite italienne (from Pulcinella), for cello and piano (1932/33) (in collaboration with Gregor Piatigorsky)
Suite italienne (from Pulcinella), for violin and piano (1934) (in collaboration with Samuel Dushkin)
Preludium for Jazz Band (1936/37)
Elegy, for solo viola (1944)
Ebony Concerto for clarinet and jazz band (1945)
Septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and piano (1953)
Concertino, for small ensemble (1953) (arrangement of 1920 work for string quartet)
Epitaphium, for flute, clarinet and harp (1959)
Double Canon, for string quartet 'Raoul Dufy in Memoriam' (1959)
Monumentum pro Gesualdo di Venosa ad CD annum, for chamber ensemble (1960)
"Asciugate I begli ochi"
"Ma tu, cagion di quella"
"Belta poi che t'assenti"
Lullaby, for two recorders (1960) (arrangement of item from The Rake's Progress, 1951)
Fanfare for a New Theatre, for two trumpets (1964)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 12:31:23 PM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1244 on: January 07, 2020, 09:00:34 AM »
Huge fan of the Symphony of Psalms and this recording. [Stravinsky conducting]

You can also count me among the fans of it.  Those Columbia recordings with Stravinsky conducting were my introduction to most of his music and have remained the ones I usually listen to.  There are those who complain about his alleged faults as a conductor but they don't bother me.   ;)   I simply ignore them and happily enjoy the music-making.

 8)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1245 on: January 07, 2020, 01:11:01 PM »
^Maybe I’m not familiar enough with his works from the 1940s, but all I mean is that it sounds more akin to Apollo than, say, the Symphony in 3 Movements.

I agree that his serial music is amazing and still has just as much of that distinct Stravinskyan flavor as anything else he wrote earlier. I especially love the Requiem Canticles, an amazing work. I need to hear Agon. Looking forward to getting that Craft disc with it.

Well, my point, more or less, is that Stravinsky is quite the musical chameleon. His progression is difficult to chart because there’s such a unique compositional voice at work in his music and everything (and I mean every aspect of his music) was painstakingly considered. I always thought of him as someone who was meticulous when it came to actually notating the actual music as well. There’s never a note wasted in any of his music and, for this reason, I put him in the same category as Debussy, Ravel, Bartók, Webern, among others. All of these composers put so much time into their music and making sure there wasn’t a note out-of-place.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1246 on: January 07, 2020, 01:25:17 PM »
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread:

Ended up listening to this whole recording:



I can only say that I’m deeply enthralled by this recording and can’t wait to listen to the second volume. These are authoritative performances. Both Gringolts and Laul sound completely at home in the music. They rise to the technical challenges, but, also, are able to bring out all of the nuances in each work. Like, for example, I never heard the last movement (Dithyrambe) of Duo concertant played with such conviction and heart. I felt the emotion in these performances. So beautiful. I’m also confident when I say this is the best recording of any of these works I’ve heard and I’m quite aware of these works’ discographies --- I also own Marwood/Adès on Hyperion and Keulen/Mustonen on Philips. The audio quality is also what you’d expect from BIS at this juncture. A+ all across the board.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online Herman

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1247 on: January 07, 2020, 01:47:54 PM »


PS. I didn't realize Orpheus had been written so late in Stravinsky's career. It would fit right in with his style in the 1920s, no? I really like the Salonen/Philharmonia recording of Orpheus, which I have on a disc coupled with my favorite recording of Petrouchka.

That Salonen disc is really great. His Orpheus is mesmerizing.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1248 on: January 07, 2020, 06:19:06 PM »
Well, my point, more or less, is that Stravinsky is quite the musical chameleon. His progression is difficult to chart because there’s such a unique compositional voice at work in his music and everything (and I mean every aspect of his music) was painstakingly considered. I always thought of him as someone who was meticulous when it came to actually notating the actual music as well. There’s never a note wasted in any of his music and, for this reason, I put him in the same category as Debussy, Ravel, Bartók, Webern, among others. All of these composers put so much time into their music and making sure there wasn’t a note out-of-place.

No arguments there. Stravinsky definitely belongs to that category of composers.

That Salonen disc is really great. His Orpheus is mesmerizing.

It is a damn fine disc. I have Salonen conducting the Firebird and Jeu de cartes, but I am less impressed with it. But I think that is more to do with the music itself than anything.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1249 on: January 12, 2020, 02:04:35 PM »
Nice talk on Stravinsky's late style:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/AIWn7z7t3ZA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/AIWn7z7t3ZA</a>

He recommends 3 discs at the end:



Aside from this one and the recording of Threni in the Stravinsky Edition, I know of only one other recording of Threni.  It was conducted by Robert Craft (who also had a hand in the Stravinsky Edition recording), and predates his Naxos Stravinsky series.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 02:11:46 PM by Daverz »

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1250 on: January 13, 2020, 12:58:17 AM »
Nice talk on Stravinsky's late style:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/AIWn7z7t3ZA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/AIWn7z7t3ZA</a>

He recommends 3 discs at the end:



Aside from this one and the recording of Threni in the Stravinsky Edition, I know of only one other recording of Threni.  It was conducted by Robert Craft (who also had a hand in the Stravinsky Edition recording), and predates his Naxos Stravinsky series.


I haven't seen that video, but it looks appealing and I'll certainly take a look at it sometime soon. The recordings he recommends, though, are all excellent, particularly IMHO the Knussen disc--which is one of the very best traversals of IS's late music available--and the Herreweghe Threni--which is vastly superior to the previous two recordings, by the composer and by Robert Craft. In Herreweghe's hands, the beauty of this great but difficult score blossoms completely. A great achievement!

BTW, the Craft recording had been OOP for years, and very diffcult to get, until it was included in the "Compete Edition" box on DG (which now seems to be OOP as well):

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Online Herman

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1251 on: January 13, 2020, 02:08:37 AM »
I've been enjoying Salonen's Oedipus Rex recording for a couple of days now.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1252 on: January 13, 2020, 09:19:41 AM »
I've been enjoying Salonen's Oedipus Rex recording for a couple of days now.

I’ve heard great things about this work but never heard it. Is Salonen the recording to get?

Online Herman

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1253 on: January 13, 2020, 01:29:35 PM »
I don't know how easy it is to get it, but it's one of the better recordings. Another one is Ozawa with Jessye Norman et al, but there the orchestra is not as snappy as Salonen's Swedish orchestra.

It's a very strange, parodic work.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1254 on: January 13, 2020, 01:49:52 PM »
I haven't seen that video, but it looks appealing and I'll certainly take a look at it sometime soon. The recordings he recommends, though, are all excellent, particularly IMHO the Knussen disc--which is one of the very best traversals of IS's late music available--and the Herreweghe Threni--which is vastly superior to the previous two recordings, by the composer and by Robert Craft. In Herreweghe's hands, the beauty of this great but difficult score blossoms completely. A great achievement!

BTW, the Craft recording had been OOP for years, and very diffcult to get, until it was included in the "Compete Edition" box on DG (which now seems to be OOP as well):



Yes, I've had the first two recordings for a long time, since I was fascinated by this phase of Stravinsky's ouvre, which is why I had the Craft/Koch recording as well. 

DG licensed the Koch recording?  Well done. 

I've heard the Herreweghe now, and it's gorgeous, almost gracious on the ears.  I think the Craft/Koch recording is still a great accomplishment.   If you follow the Amazon link you'll find a detailed consideration by someone named "Karl Henning". 

The Fanfare reviewer, Ronald E. Grames,  seemed to feel the warmth of the Herreweghe was not an asset:

  "The qualities, however, that make the performances of the shorter works successful weaken the drama of the larger works, where sharp rhythms, clear attacks,
  distinct dynamic contrasts, and a coolness of coloration are an important part of the sound the composer was seeking. Herreweghe’s warmer, more refined
  approach is antithetical in both works to Stravinsky’s primitivism and ritualistic vigor. The result is attractive in a way, but too often at the expense of tension, clear
  delineation of contrasting elements—note how in the ritualistic Threni, the choral Hebrew-letter headings fail to stand out—and forward drive."

He thought the Requiem Canticles worked better.  I'm not inclined to second-guess warmth and beauty, but I'll take it under advisement here.





« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 01:53:07 PM by Daverz »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1255 on: January 14, 2020, 08:41:07 AM »
Yes, I've had the first two recordings for a long time, since I was fascinated by this phase of Stravinsky's ouvre, which is why I had the Craft/Koch recording as well. 

DG licensed the Koch recording?  Well done. 

I've heard the Herreweghe now, and it's gorgeous, almost gracious on the ears.  I think the Craft/Koch recording is still a great accomplishment.   If you follow the Amazon link you'll find a detailed consideration by someone named "Karl Henning". 

The Fanfare reviewer, Ronald E. Grames,  seemed to feel the warmth of the Herreweghe was not an asset:

  "The qualities, however, that make the performances of the shorter works successful weaken the drama of the larger works, where sharp rhythms, clear attacks,
  distinct dynamic contrasts, and a coolness of coloration are an important part of the sound the composer was seeking. Herreweghe’s warmer, more refined
  approach is antithetical in both works to Stravinsky’s primitivism and ritualistic vigor. The result is attractive in a way, but too often at the expense of tension, clear
  delineation of contrasting elements—note how in the ritualistic Threni, the choral Hebrew-letter headings fail to stand out—and forward drive."

He thought the Requiem Canticles worked better.  I'm not inclined to second-guess warmth and beauty, but I'll take it under advisement here.







The Craft/Koch was the first Threni I heard, so I've something of a sentimental attachment to it, but certainly the Herreweghe is exquisite.
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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1256 on: January 27, 2020, 04:14:13 AM »
After two weeks of listening to Oedipus Rex, which I can't help finding a total hoot, I think people expect a very solemn work, based on the title and subject, but that's not what I'm hearing.

After two weeks of that I'm listening to the Requiem Canticles and reading the 2nd volume of Stephen Walsh, with al the shenanigans in IS's last years, a really sad spectacle, reminding me where my intense antipathy towards Craft comes from.

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1257 on: January 27, 2020, 04:27:04 AM »
This set is really very good, IMO.


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1258 on: January 27, 2020, 04:34:20 AM »
After two weeks of listening to Oedipus Rex, which I can't help finding a total hoot, I think people expect a very solemn work, based on the title and subject, but that's not what I'm hearing.

After two weeks of that I'm listening to the Requiem Canticles and reading the 2nd volume of Stephen Walsh, with al the shenanigans in IS's last years, a really sad spectacle, reminding me where my intense antipathy towards Craft comes from.

The Walsh is a great read, and I hear you.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1259 on: January 27, 2020, 04:42:14 AM »
This set is really very good, IMO.



I'll bet; I am guessing that it is the Dutoit/Montréal Le sacre.
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