Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy
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The riot that broke out at the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" is often regarded as the inauguration of the modern age, an apt legacy for a ballet that represents human sacrifice as the cost of renewal. Such a significant work has of course been recorded many times, but never with this breath-taking mix of startling savagery and luxurious sonority, analytical insight and primitive passion. The program is rounded out by that luscious last gasp of 19th-century decadence, Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy," a powerful influence upon the composer's younger countryman, Stravinsky.
Bad compilation editing
Rite of Spring is a masterpiece- there is no doubt about that, but dont buy this specific CD compilation. the CD suffers from lags between tracks, which makes it impossible/annoying to listen. Dont Buy!!! Choose another CD version!!!
This is the best recording of The Rite of Spring I have heard. I notice none of the sound problems that "Markie-Poo" commented on — maybe try turning on the equalizer? And in response to "M_Inchoco": True, Stravnisky once said that people shouldn't "interpret" his music. But that was many years after he wrote The Rite of Spring, and he had changed greatly. His musical style had transformed from the fiery passion of The Firebird and The Rite of Spring to the cold, calculated preciseness of neoclassicism. When he created his recordings, he brought his new artistic perspective to the piece, leaving it much more sterile than he had probably originally intended. Although these other recordings are indeed greatly historic renditions, they do not contain the full passion truly necessary for this piece. Gergiev does just this: His rendition has both profound, introspective moments, such as the Introductions, and passages of incredible emotional catharsis, pushing the orchestra to its limits. Dance of the Earth, Glorification of the Chosen One, and Sacrificial Dance are the pinnacles of this CD. By the end, the listener is emotionally spent. The second piece on this album, Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy, is almost as impressive. Gergiev is a true genius, using the full potential of the orchestra for Scriabin's lavish work. This is my most prized album, and one of which I will never tire.
The Valery Gergiev recording of the Rite of Spring by far is one of the more sentimentalist interpretations of the this masterwork by Stravinsky. The opening Lithuanian folk song in the high register of the bassoon is played with such emotion. This emotion Stravinsky would have scoffed at because his music was to be played exact and precise. Stravinsky believed that through his thorough writing no one needed to "interpret" the music. The music spoke for itself and the conductor was just there to guide as opposed to "interpret." This of course is not music of the Romantic period but then again it is certainly not Beethoven. Basically, get this record to listen to the subtle nuances of Valery Gergiev. If you want the purist view of the Rite of Spring I recommend listening to the Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky album with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra on Columbia records or the Rite of Spring/Petrushka recording on the Deutsche Grammophone label with Pierre Boulez conducting the Cleveland Orchestra.