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The Rite of Spring /Igor Stravinsky / New York Philharmonic / Zubin Mehta (CBS Masterworks/Sony)


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Zubin Mehta
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CBS Masterworks/Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DS8L
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ian George Fraser on October 17, 2008
Debate will always rage about the "greatest" this or that. But if you were to mention ballet and 20th century I don't think there would be a lot of argument. So which is the greatest performance? I don't know because I haven't heard them all, but I would find it hard to imagine anything better than this NYP/ Mehta event. I won't describe it as a performance because from the first bar there is something special about this. Recently there have been some "revisionist" performances of the Rite with a reduced orchestra, emphasising the chamber music qualities of the piece. Mehta will have none of this and he unleashes the full power of the modern symphony orchestra on this savage masterpeice. Despite this the control remains iron and even when he chooses terrifyingly fast tempi such as at the conclusion of Part 1, the clarity remains remarkable.
I said at the beginning of this review that Mehta in general rejects modern revisionist interpretations of this piece. However, for me what marks this performance out as exceptional, is that at the beginning of Part 2 ( Mystical Circles) Mehta does in fact reduce the orchestra. The effect is very weird and really does emphasise the strangeness of this section and when he he goes back to full throttle at the beginning of the "Glorification of the Victim" you are just pressed back into your seat. I think that is probably the overall impression I have of this CD, that it just presses you back into your seat. Buy it.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Philly Gal on October 16, 2008
Here is the one great work of classical music that actually caused a riot! If this strange, dissonant music makes us feel indignant or uncomfortable, I believe it was meant to do so. This particular recording is evidence that the New York Philharmonic can handle anything, and conductor Zubin Mehta's interpretation and direction are exceptional. This music is now almost 100 years old: "Le Sacre du Printemps" was written for the Ballets Russes and debuted in Paris in 1913, as choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. Stravinsky's idea was to create an intense, colorful vision of pagan Spring rituals - practices left far behind and disowned by the stagnant, stultifying western European (Christian) art and political establishments. The music is dissonant, iconoclastic, alien, you can put a thousand labels on it - but there is nothing else like it. As "listening" music goes, it takes patience and some understanding of its thematic content and the composer's intention that it be DANCED. The entire Art Nouveau era fomented the most thrilling, controversial, rebellious art and music, and we would be lessened without that inheritance. This odd, disturbing music has always been there in the human soul, but rarely nourished by freedom of expression. Listen to it without other distractions, and let your mind dance to it.
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