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Susan Graham|Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Scherzo fantastique

Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Scherzo fantastique

Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz

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Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra recorded Igor Stravinsky's neo-classical ballet Pulcinella in 1990, so the first thing listeners will encounter with this 2012 Naxos reissue is the general flatness and unevenness of the early digital sound, which lacks a sense of dimensions, and in some tracks, the absence of natural resonance. In retrospect, this was adequate CD quality for the time, as it was produced by Delos for the original release, but since then, advances in audiophile recording have made the reproduction unsatisfactory. Even if the lackluster sound weren't an issue, the playing is sluggish at the outset and the ballet as a whole seems unnecessarily cautious in tempo and pacing. However, while Schwarz's tempos are sometimes slower than most conductors take, once the piece progresses, listeners can settle into the music and get an idea of what he is trying to do. This rendition of Pulcinella comes off as a bit too gentle and languorous for a rollicking Commedia dell'arte piece, and there is only a little of the brusqueness and mock violence that would be vital in an actual staging. It's possible that the prettiness of the score tempted Schwarz and his musicians to linger too long over passages, and this might account for the lovely but lazy character of the performance. The Scherzo fantastique, recorded in 1988, is a lot more vigorous and animated, and the sound is better in its details and brighter ambience.
© TiVo

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Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Scherzo fantastique

Susan Graham

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Pulcinella

1
Overture
Susan Graham
00:02:16

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

2
Serenata. Mentre l'erbetta - Larghetto - Scherzino - Allegro - Andantino - Allegro (Tenor)
Susan Graham
00:09:57

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

3
Allegretto: Contento forse vivere - Allegro assai - Allegro (alla breve): Con queste paroline - Andante: Sento dire no'nce pace - Allegro: Nce sta quaccuna po' - Presto: Una te fa la 'nzemprece - Larghetto [Soprano, Tenor, Bass]
Susan Graham
00:12:16

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

4
Allegro alla breve - Tarantella
Susan Graham
00:02:14

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

5
Andantino: Se tu m'ami - Allegro (Soprano)
Susan Graham
00:03:56

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

6
Gavotta con due variazioni: Allegro moderato
Susan Graham
00:04:23

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

7
Vivo
Susan Graham
00:01:29

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

8
Tempo di minuetto: Pupillette, fiammette d'amore - Finale. Allegro assai (Soprano, Tenor, Bass)
Susan Graham
00:04:39

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Susan Graham, Artist, MainArtist - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Jan Opalach, Artist - Gran Wilson, Artist - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

Scherzo fantastique, Op. 3

9
Scherzo fantastique, Op. 3
Seattle Symphony
00:13:06

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Gerard Schwarz, Conductor - Seattle Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Naxos (P) 2012 Naxos

Album Description

Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra recorded Igor Stravinsky's neo-classical ballet Pulcinella in 1990, so the first thing listeners will encounter with this 2012 Naxos reissue is the general flatness and unevenness of the early digital sound, which lacks a sense of dimensions, and in some tracks, the absence of natural resonance. In retrospect, this was adequate CD quality for the time, as it was produced by Delos for the original release, but since then, advances in audiophile recording have made the reproduction unsatisfactory. Even if the lackluster sound weren't an issue, the playing is sluggish at the outset and the ballet as a whole seems unnecessarily cautious in tempo and pacing. However, while Schwarz's tempos are sometimes slower than most conductors take, once the piece progresses, listeners can settle into the music and get an idea of what he is trying to do. This rendition of Pulcinella comes off as a bit too gentle and languorous for a rollicking Commedia dell'arte piece, and there is only a little of the brusqueness and mock violence that would be vital in an actual staging. It's possible that the prettiness of the score tempted Schwarz and his musicians to linger too long over passages, and this might account for the lovely but lazy character of the performance. The Scherzo fantastique, recorded in 1988, is a lot more vigorous and animated, and the sound is better in its details and brighter ambience.
© TiVo

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