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Ravel: Mother Goose, La valse
Stravinsky: The Rite of SpringSt Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Contrasting pieces by two masters of orchestral composition, these live performances capture the energy and movement of three much-loved balletic works; Ravel's intricate vignettes of childrens' stories in Mother Goose and 'choreographic poem' La valse, and Stravinsky's epoch-defining Rite of Spring.
One of the oldest professional orchestras in Russia, the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra can trace its lineage back to 1882 and its formation by Tsar Alexander III. In a 25-year collaboration, Yuri Temirkanov has been the orchestra's principal conductor since 1988.
Praise for recent releases with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra:
"The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov deliver the scores with panache" CD Choice, February 2013 – SIGCD320, Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade
What people are saying
"The older Stravinsky would probably have preferred Yuri Temirkanov’s 2009 recording with the St Petersburg Philharmonic – measured, manicured and unmistakably Russian in its intermittent melancholia. There are episodes of exquisite natural beauty and organic sounds." Sinfini Music, May 2013
St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Release date: 29th Apr 2013
Order code: SIGCD330
|1.||Mother Goose: I. The Sleeping Beauty's Pavanne||Maurice Ravel||1.39|
|2.||Mother Goose: II. Hop-o'-my-thumb||Maurice Ravel||3.37|
|3.||Mother Goose: III. Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas||Maurice Ravel||3.31|
|4.||Mother Goose: IV. Conversations of Beauty and the Beast||Maurice Ravel||4.17|
|5.||Mother Goose: V. The Fairy Garden||Maurice Ravel||3.37|
|6.||La valse||Maurice Ravel||12.36|
|7.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Introduction||Igor Stravinsky||3.41|
|8.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Augers of Spring, Dances of the Young Girls||Igor Stravinsky||3.29|
|9.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Ritual of Abduction||Igor Stravinsky||1.24|
|10.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Spring Rounds||Igor Stravinsky||3.49|
|11.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Ritual of the Rival Tribes||Igor Stravinsky||1.56|
|12.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: Procession of the Sage||Igor Stravinsky||0.43|
|13.||The Rite of Spring, Part I: The Sage, Dance of the Earth||Igor Stravinsky||1.42|
|14.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Introduction||Igor Stravinsky||4.08|
|15.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Mystic Circles of the Young Girls||Igor Stravinsky||3.16|
|16.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Glorification of the Chosen One||Igor Stravinsky||1.34|
|17.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Evocation of the Ancestors||Igor Stravinsky||0.53|
|18.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Ritual Action of the Ancestors||Igor Stravinsky||3.09|
|19.||The Rite of Spring, Part II: Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)||Igor Stravinsky||5.08|
… Whilst I’ve been away there have been a few new CD releases that I am only just catching up on. There are two new discs on Signum Records. The first, Sometimes I Sing by composer Alec Roth, is a haunting disc of music for tenor (Marc Padmore) and guitar (Morgan Szymanski) to texts by Thomas Wyatt, Vikram Seth, John Donne and Edward Thomas. The music has a jewel-like simplicity that owes much to folk idioms. Padmore’s singing is mesmerizingly beautiful. The second is another new recording of Le Sacre du Printemps, this time programmed with Ravel’s La Valse and Mother Goose. It is performed by St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Termirkanov. Both discs are available on Spotify.
Composition Today, Christian Morris
Stravinsky was merciless to conductors who attempted his signature work. Herbert von Karajan’s recording he dismissed as ‘too bland’, Pierre Boulez’s as ‘effortless… too fast’. Leonard Bernstein he berated for adding ‘excessive dynamics’. Even Pierre Monteux, who conducted the riotous 1913 premiere, came in for muttered criticisms of his subsequent performances.
If the man who wrote the music declares a performance to be wrong, why should we listen?
Given that Stravinsky’s own three recordings differ widely from one another in tempi and ambience, the composer is the last person on earth to preach consistency. Still, if the man who wrote the music declares a performance to be downright wrong, why should we bother to listen to it?
The older Stravinsky would probably have preferred Yuri Temirkanov’s 2009 recording with the St Petersburg Philharmonic – measured, manicured and unmistakably Russian in its intermittent melancholia. There are episodes of exquisite natural beauty and organic sounds. What’s missing is Bernstein’s abandon, but the details are delicious.
Norman Lebrecht, Sinfini Music