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CSO Resound - Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Symphony In 3 Movements - 4 Etudes

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Customer Reviews

Have fun with this toy at home

I found Phillip Huscher's interview with conductor Pierre Boulez, included in the booklet of this new CD on the Chicago Symphony's CSO Resound label, to be very illuminating. Boulez isn't at all shy about expressing his dislike for Stravinsky's neo-classical music, but he makes an exception for a work written in 1919. "Pulcinella is a different matter," he says, "because Pulcinella is a game." If so, this is a game that Boulez and his outstanding musicians play better than anyone. Recorded live at Chicago's Symphony Center exactly one year ago (February & March, 2009), this music just about jumps off the disc, it's so alive, so life-like, so real. Boulez and his crew have a number of advantages. First of all, they're recording the complete score of the ballet, rather than the better-known suite. Secondly, the music is recorded live over a number of performances, so we have the best combination of being-at-the-concert excitement and technical perfection. And thirdly, the producer, engineer, and post-production staff have assembled an amazingly life-like sound world on the hybrid SACD disc. "Pulcinella is a work I like to conduct, because it's like a toy within your hands" says Boulez. Listening to this disc in a good surround-sound setup is like playing with that toy at home. [Figures sold separately].

I've focused on Pulcinella, which I love, and which takes up the bulk of this disc. But I'm just as impressed with the 1945 Symphony in Three Movements and the 1929 orchestral arrangement of the Four Etudes. This is very highly recommended!


Born: March 26, 1925 in Montbrison, France

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After initially studying mathematics, Boulez entered the Paris Conservatoire as a student in theory and harmony (he failed the pianists' entrance examination). His principal teacher was Messiaen, and he also studied counterpoint privately with Andrée Vaurabourg. According to Boulez, composition was a form of aesthetic research and should be pursued logically. He viewed personal stylistic development as having no importance and deemed atonality as necessary. He adopted 12-tone serialism after being...
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CSO Resound - Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Symphony In 3 Movements - 4 Etudes, Pierre Boulez
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Feb 16, 2010

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