Author Topic: Chez Stravinsky  (Read 218617 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2007, 10:06:06 AM »
That is a wonderful Oedipus Rex, Lis! Long may you dance, and may nothing freeze off!  8)

Ephemerid

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2008, 08:49:25 PM »
Stravinsky was one of my first loves-- Apollon musagetes and the Symphony of Psalms being my two favourites, other brilliant works being his Mass, the Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Symphony in C, Orpheus, the Concertino (the string quartet version especially), the Violin Concerto (especially the finale!), Oedipus Rex, Pulcinella, and Persephone.  And of course the first big three ballets goes without saying.

Persephone and Orpheus seem to be underrated pieces (Stravinsky himself wasn't too fond of Persephone, although that might also be because Gide gave him such a hard time LOL).  Nagano did a good recording of Persephone in the early 90s paired with the Rite as a double-CD set but last I checked it was out of print.  I was sorely disappointed with Tilson Thomas' recording.

I only recently heard his Elegie for solo viola which is also very good.  Sadly, Stravinsky didn't write much chamber music & generally I can't get into his solo piano music or for two pianos (except his Sonata for Two Pianos is nice and reminds me a bit of Satie).

I recently re-acquianted myself with Zvezdolikiy ("Star-face" or "King of the Stars") for men's chorus and orchestra.  If I recall, Stravinsky wrote in around 1912 (?).  Its a very mysterious piece, unlike anything else I've ever heard, but what is especially striking is how much Debussy's influence is present.  But then, there are some passages in the Rite that bring Debussy to mind (like the opening of part II for example).  --oh, certainly it doesn't sound LIKE Debussy, but the influence is very much *there*.  Anyway, I do highly recommend this somewhat obscure piece-- its truly otherworldly sounding...

All right, I was lured into continuing with Dostoyevsky, and now I cannot put Crime & Punishment down...
Just a side note: I read this for the first time last year, and WOW! -- it was impossible to put down!  (I ended up reading it twice last year-- the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation)

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2008, 05:12:49 AM »
I only recently heard his Elegie for solo viola which is also very good.

Yes, of the (dwindling) body of Stravinsky works I have not yet heard, I am keenest to hear this one :-)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2008, 05:24:17 AM »

Persephone and Orpheus seem to be underrated pieces (Stravinsky himself wasn't too fond of Persephone, although that might also be because Gide gave him such a hard time LOL). I was sorely disappointed with Tilson Thomas' recording.

I recently re-acquianted myself with Zvezdolikiy ("Star-face" or "King of the Stars") for men's chorus and orchestra.  If I recall, Stravinsky wrote in around 1912 (?).  Its a very mysterious piece, unlike anything else I've ever heard, but what is especially striking is how much Debussy's influence is present.  But then, there are some passages in the Rite that bring Debussy to mind (like the opening of part II for example).  --oh, certainly it doesn't sound LIKE Debussy, but the influence is very much *there*.  Anyway, I do highly recommend this somewhat obscure piece-- its truly otherworldly sounding...

Orpheus is one of my favourite Stravinsky ballets. And Zvezdolikiy is a piece I have known and loved ever since I bought a Tilson Thomas (!) record in the 1970s, where it was coupled with the Sacre. It's a terrific, dissonant piece on a poem by Symbolist poet Balmont, and it went too far for Debussy, if I remember my Taruskin correctly...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Guido

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2008, 04:08:37 PM »
Who was that mysterious " ' " or rather "end-quote man"?

Listening through the 22 CD set has been wonderful. I was just wondering if there was anything major that had been missed out?
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2008, 10:22:18 PM »
All it leaves out are the solo pieces: The clarinet pieces, the viola piece, the easy piano pieces  (The Five Fingers, 3 Easy Pieces*, 5 Easy Pieces*; though they do show up orchestrated), the Four Etudes for piano op. 7, the early Piano Sonata in F# minor.

Also missing are the Three Pieces for String Quartet and Concertino for String Quartet. The latter is represented in its 12 instrument setting. His wind setting of "Song of the Volga Boatman" is also missing.

Most curious for its apparent absence is the Fanfare for two trumpets, which is odd because all the other pieces from the LP it originally appeared on are there. Or maybe I just haven't noticed its presence yet.


* (piano duet, actually)

Drasko

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2008, 09:44:32 AM »


Could wax lyrical but won't. This is better option, I believe. I've uploaded whole third scene of Les Noces (320 kbps mp3) so everyone can judge for themselves. I think it's excellent.
 
http://www.mediafire.com/?58gdkgx51d2

Offline Guido

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2008, 07:37:53 AM »
I will need to listen a lot more, but my general impression of my initial traversal through these huge swathes of repertoire is that, while I like everything, I don't love it in the same way that I do the Rite of Spring... Maybe I'm expecting too much - he raised the bar pretty high with that piece! So far, I have been most impressed by Agon, Apollo, Requiem Canticles, Concerto and Sonata for two pianos, but I'm sure this list will grow as I listen through them all again.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2008, 08:09:51 AM »
Hmm. Well, I couldn't say that I love Svadebka, the Symphony of Psalms, Orpheus or Agon 'the way I do" Le sacre.  Each piece has its own profile.  I don't think I love the other pieces less than I do Le sacre.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2008, 02:20:29 PM »
Hmm. Well, I couldn't say that I love Svadebka, the Symphony of Psalms, Orpheus or Agon 'the way I do" Le sacre.  Each piece has its own profile.  I don't think I love the other pieces less than I do Le sacre.

On the other hand, someone whose only exposure to these particular works is from the Big Stravinsky Box is not going to hear their full impact. Except for Orpheus, all of these pieces are represented by weak performances, and are much better done elsewhere.

Robert Shaw recorded Symphony of Psalms at least twice, and they're both magnificent. For Agon, you've got to hear Erich Leinsdorf's reading, or Michael Tilson Thomas'.

Orpheus sounds like one of Stravinsky's better conducting efforts, but I know of no other recording to compare it to.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2008, 05:02:16 PM »
Orpheus sounds like one of Stravinsky's better conducting efforts, but I know of no other recording to compare it to.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recorded the work, although it's OOP (but Arkiv has it or look aftermarket).

Wouldn't know about comparisons as I've never heard the work. Would like to, though.





Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Guido

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2008, 05:39:37 PM »
How could I forget the Symphony of Psalms! That may be my second favourite work by Stravinsky. I read recently that Rostropovich said that Shostokvich's favourite work by Stravinsky was the Symphony of Psalms (and his favourite work by Prokofiev was the Symphony Concerto).
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Bonehelm

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2008, 04:32:04 PM »
Is there a difference between Chez Stravinsky and Igor Stravinsky, the man who wrote Rite of Spring and various other modernist music?

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2008, 05:22:26 AM »
Chez is a French preposition meaning "at the home of."

Bonehelm

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2008, 12:12:41 PM »
Chez is a French preposition meaning "at the home of."

OH LOL I thought that was the man's first name. Thanks for clarifying.

Ephemerid

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2008, 12:36:44 PM »
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recorded the work, although it's OOP (but Arkiv has it or look aftermarket).

Wouldn't know about comparisons as I've never heard the work. Would like to, though.



I used to own that disc.  I've got Neeme Jarvi's CD recording on Chandos, which is good, but, if I remember right, the Orpheus takes the slow passages of Orpheus a bit slower than Jarvi (the opening & closing and also the ascent from the underworld scene)-- which I prefer. 

The ascension scene is one of the most beautiful passages written by Stravinsky-- those two bars of silence when Orpheus looks back on Eurydice!!!  :o  I love that sort of subtle drama, so typical of Stravinsky-- just like the soft "alleluia" passages in the Symphony of Psalms.


Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #76 on: February 11, 2008, 08:04:19 PM »
I used to own that disc.  I've got Neeme Jarvi's CD recording on Chandos, which is good, but, if I remember right, the Orpheus takes the slow passages of Orpheus a bit slower than Jarvi (the opening & closing and also the ascent from the underworld scene)-- which I prefer. 

The ascension scene is one of the most beautiful passages written by Stravinsky-- those two bars of silence when Orpheus looks back on Eurydice!!!  :o  I love that sort of subtle drama, so typical of Stravinsky-- just like the soft "alleluia" passages in the Symphony of Psalms.

I just ordered this Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recording of the Orpheus ballet off Amazon. Looking forward to getting to know the work. Thanks for the highlight tip. I'll keep an ear out for the passage...



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Ephemerid

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #77 on: February 11, 2008, 08:29:16 PM »
I just ordered this Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recording of the Orpheus ballet off Amazon. Looking forward to getting to know the work. Thanks for the highlight tip. I'll keep an ear out for the passage...

Cool!  You're in for a real treat!  :)

paulb

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #78 on: February 12, 2008, 04:59:20 AM »
Cool!  You're in for a real treat!  :)

But no tricks please ;)

I should not have said that, being I'm not a  fan of Stravinsky.
I'll leave now.

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #79 on: February 12, 2008, 05:26:02 AM »
I should not have said that, being I'm not a  fan of Stravinsky.

I know, Paul, he was far too modern for you.

Probably you should stick to Romantics like Pettersson.