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Orchestre des Concerts Straram, Alexander Glazunov & Igor Stravinsky - Stravinsky and Glazunov Conduct (2015)

23-12-2015, 11:16
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: Stravinsky and Glazunov Conduct
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Pristine Audio
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 69:05
Total Size: 187 MB


Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Petrushka, ballet suite (1911) [23:05]
Pulcinella, ballet suite (1920) [11:00]

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
The Seasons: ballet in one act, Op.67 (1900) [34:55]

unnamed orchestra (Petrushka), Walther Straram Concerts Orchestra (Pulcinella)/Igor Stravinsky
unnamed orchestra/Alexander Glazunov
rec. 1928 (Petrushka), 1929 (Glazunov), 1928 and 1932 (Pulcinella)

This release presents music from three Russian ballets premièred within the first two decades of the 20th Century, which reflect the enormous stylistic changes going on in music during the period. Igor Stravinsky began as an admirer of Glazunov, but soon set out on his own course with The Firebird in 1910. The following year saw the première of Petrushka, a work which the conservative elder composer characterized as “not music, but […] excellently and skillfully orchestrated.”

Stravinsky made some never-published acoustic piano sides for the Brunswick label while on tour in America in 1925, but the present suite from Petrushka was his first issued recording. Although the ballet had, by that time, been recorded twice complete on eight sides by HMV (acoustically by Goossens, electrically by Coates, the latter on Pristine PASC 304), Columbia opted to record only a suite on six sides. Missing from this version were the “Dance of the Ballerina” and most of the “Waltz: The Ballerina and the Moor” in Scene III, and “The Peasant and the Bear” (except for the opening bars) and “The Jovial Merchant with Two Gypsy Girls” in Scene IV. Like other concert versions of the ballet, it ends with “The Masqueraders”, rather than with Petrushka’s fight, death, and ghostly reappearance.

After this recording made in London, the focus of Stravinsky’s microphonic activities shifted for the next few years to Paris. At the tail end of his 1928 Firebird Suite sessions (Pristine PASC 387), he recorded the last three selections from the suite to Pulcinella, his ballet for orchestra and singers based on works by Pergolesi, which had marked the beginning of Stravinsky’s neoclassical period. Four years later, he returned to the work and recorded two more movements, but did not record any further excerpts during the 78 rpm era.

Like Stravinsky, Glazunov made his first recording in London; but unlike the younger composer, it was not to lead to a further series of discs. In his memoirs, Columbia producer Joe Batten recalled the Seasons recording sessions under Glazunov’s direction: “Here is a far too seldom played suite of happy music. It was recorded at the old Portman Rooms in Baker Street. I shall never forget meeting him, tall, elderly, so ill and frail with gout and rheumatism that I wondered if he could stand the physical strain of three or four hours of intensive recording But he did and produced a performance of sheer beauty.”

None of the frailness described is evident in this energetic and stylish reading, but only some of the beauty survives on the issued discs. Recorded over three sessions, at least two different engineering approaches were used: one which favored a warm, bass-full sound, and the other which was treble-oriented almost to the point of shrillness. Despite its drawbacks, it remains invaluable as the only recording the composer ever made.

The sources for the transfers were American Columbia pressings: “Viva-Tonal” copies for the Glazunov; a “Full-Range” label edition for Pulcinella; and a large label, post-“Viva” pressing with patches from a laminated French Columbia copy for Petrushka.

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Panhistoricus   User offline   1 May 2016 00:00

Thanks for sharing!


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