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Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Sony Classical

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Ever since he was a boy, Pink Floyd's bassist Roger Waters has been haunted by his father's death in the Second World War. His writing would always bear the imprint of this trauma, in particular on The Wall (1979), The Final Cut (1983) – dedicated to his father – and Amused to Death (1992). This story of a poor soldier who sold his soul to the devil must have struck a chord with him.The product of the vagaries of the Great War and the friendship between composer Igor Stravinsky (later exiled in Switzerland), the writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz and conductor Ernest Ansermet, The Soldier's Tale, was based on one of Afanasyev's Russian folk tales, but adapted in the Canton of Vaud by Ramuz, in whose hands it became a universal parable. Stravinsky wrote a very sparse score for seven instruments (violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone and percussion) which demanded real virtuosity from the musicians. One hundred years after its first outing on 28 September 1918 in Lausanne, The Soldier's Tale is continuing its march across the globe. On this album, rock legend Roger Waters is the sole narrator in his own adaptation, which is based on translations by Michael Flanders and Kitty Black. He takes on the three roles himself, with seven excellent musicians from the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. For Waters, this latest work is simply the next logical step, given his musical research and his political stance, in particular his support for Palestine and his fight against Trump. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 1, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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If this Gala reissue is your first exposure to Igor Stravinsky's neo-Classical opera The Rake's Progress (1951), postpone listening to it until you've heard a good contemporary recording or two. Stravinsky's first account, recorded at the opera's premiere in Venice on September 11, 1951, is somewhat faulty in performance and deficient in sound quality, and it is mostly of historical interest. It has been superseded by Stravinsky's second, masterful performance on Columbia, and a few others, including Kent Nagano's splendid rendition on Erato and John Eliot Gardiner's popular recording on Deutsche Grammophon. Though it is exciting to hear Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as the original Anne Truelove and Robert Rounseville as Tom Rakewell, the most fascinating performances to follow are Otakar Kraus' suavely diabolical (if thickly accented) Nick Shadow, Jennie Tourel's delightfully grotesque Baba the Turk, and Hugues Cuénod's comically virtuosic Sellem. But Stravinsky's conducting was off, reportedly due to nerves, and the orchestra had to slow down here and there for his benefit, when it wasn't slightly off itself. Add to this the murky and often scratchy sound of the recording, the distant microphone placement, the indistinct pronunciation, the frequent drop-out of instrumental parts, and the annoying use of a piano as a substitute for the harpsichord in the recitatives, and it becomes obvious that this presentation is not ideal for first-time listening. However, those who know The Rake well may get something out of hearing this first recording, if only a finer appreciation of the lead roles' difficulties and the numerous pitfalls in the score.
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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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