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Symphonic Music - Released November 14, 1994 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Golden Oldies
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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 October 9, 2015 | Sony Classical

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In describing his interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps, Teodor Currentzis emphasizes the essential Russian origins of the music, and points out the folk influences that give it its cultural resonance. This is indeed the case, since the Russian and Lithuanian folk songs that Stravinsky used have been identified, and the score overflows with themes and melodic fragments that evoke an ancient tribal culture. This is perhaps the reason so much of this elastic performance of Le Sacre du printemps feels like a melodically based interpretation, rather than a sharp, rhythmic exploration, with more attention paid to articulation and phrasing than to accentuation and rhythm. While Currentzis and Musica Aeterna produce punchy moments in the expected places, they tend to slacken in subdued sections and deprive the work of the overwhelming drive and ruthless violence it needs. Opinions may vary over Currentzis' melodic approach, mainly in Part I, though from the Glorification de l'Élue to the Danse Sacrale in Part II, the orchestra kicks into gear and produces the necessary propulsion and volatility to make a convincing ending.
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Classical - Released April 26, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released August 26, 2011 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released October 30, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Symphonic Music - Released April 26, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Leonard Bernstein's 1958 recording of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps with the New York Philharmonic is ranked among the most exciting renditions ever recorded. Indeed, Stravinsky was sufficiently impressed with this recording to exclaim, "Wow!" Additionally, it was one of the best sounding stereo versions available on a major label. Reissued by Sony for the centennial of the ballet's notorious 1913 premiere in Paris, Bernstein's legendary performance has been remastered from the original analog tapes, and though there is occasional background noise and tape hiss in exposed passages, nothing essential seems to have been lost in the transfer to digital. Some things sound better than others: the undulating chords of the Introduction to Part II have rarely sounded this full and rich, the eruptions in Glorification de l'élue are shockingly vivid, and the Danse sacrale is pungent and incisive. However, the percussion is surprisingly thin in spots in Part I, with the timpani often sounding more prominent than the bass drum, and the entire battery is somewhat underwhelming in the Danse de la terre. There are many all-digital CDs and SACDs that offer superior audio, especially in terms of a wider dynamic range and acoustic resonance, and even acknowledging the excellence of this recording for its time, Columbia didn't have the technology to match today's state-of-the-art audio. All the same, Bernstein certainly gets the orchestra to play in top form, and his elastic tempos in the slow sections and driven pacing in the fast ones keep the listener spellbound. There are no perfect recordings of Le Sacre du printemps, but it's easy to see why this one has stood the test of time and become a favorite of many.
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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 November 30, 2012 | Sony Classical

No one would guess from his baby face that Esa-Pekka Salonen is a hard-edged, tough-guy modernist who got his start conducting works by Magnus Lindberg, the enfant terrible of Finnish music. But it is true and his recording career is proof. Nowhere in his discography is there a note of Beethoven or Brahms. Even in so conservative a company as Sony, Salonen has become the resident modernist with discs dedicated to Bartók, Debussy, and Mahler (that's Sony's modernism). He has even amassed an amazing series of Stravinsky recordings since his Sony debut in 1988. Salonen started with Stravinsky's first masterpiece, The Firebird. Rather than use Stravinsky's modest revision of the score, Salonen went back to the original 1910 version with its gargantuan orchestra of quadruple woodwinds, huge brass section plus a seven-piece brass band on-stage, an enormous percussion section that included bells, xylophone, celesta, and piano, plus three harps and 64 strings. Not that all this late-Romantic armament blunts the blade of Salonen's modernism. It only gives him more ammunition to aim at the work's Russian fairy tale heart. Stravinsky later commented on The Firebird that "belongs to the style of its time." This is true as far as it goes. The use of diatonic folk-like melodies for humans and chromaticism for the supernatural does come out of Rimsky-Korsakov's late operas. But those are merely the work's point of origin. Under the right hands -- and Salonen's are the right hands -- numbers like "Fairy Carillon" and especially "Infernal Dance" become threats to musical complacency. Even such pretty little sound toys as the "Round Dances" and the "Lullaby" aren't exercises in late-Russian emotionality; in their own quiet way, they subvert the conventions of Romanticism through Stravinsky's nascent aesthetic of ironic stylization to distance the creator and, thus, the audience, from the creation.
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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released June 12, 2007 | 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 December 1, 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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