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Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps

Igor Stravinsky , Leonard Bernstein , New York Philharmonic Orchestra Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $10.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps + Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • ASIN: B00BQSSGD8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Part One - Adoration of the Earth: Introduction. Lento (1913 Version)
2. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); The Augurs of Spring (1913 Version)
3. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Mock Abduction (1913 Version)
4. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Spring Round Dances (1913 Version)
5. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Games of the Rival Tribes (1913 Version)
6. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Procession of the Wise Elder (1913 Version)
7. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Adoration of the Earth (The Wise Elder) (1913 Version)
8. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Dance of the Earth (1913 Version)
9. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Part Two - The Sacrifice: Introduction. Largo (1913 Version)
10. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Mystical Circles of the Young Girls (1913 Version)
11. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Glorification of the Chosen Victim (1913 Version)
12. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Summoning of the Ancestors (1913 Version)
13. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Ritual of the Ancestors (1913 Version)
14. Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring); Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen Victim) (1913 Version)

Editorial Reviews

Quoted by Bernstein himself that the century-old Le Sacre du Printemps is "one your everyday volcanic masterpieces...of such originality and power that it still overwhelms us." Of course, this 1958 recording with Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic is a tour de force performance of the piece that was so "volcanic" at its Paris premiere that it started a legendary riot. This wonderful new audio transfer is accompanied by photos of Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky from the recording sessions and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Bernstein described The Rite saying, "Only one of your everyday volcanic masterpieces...a miraculous new creation of such originality and power that still today it shocks and overwhelms us." I'd say "Volcanic," "miraculous," "originality," and "power" are words that might well describe Bernstein's 1958 recording, too. Bernstein at the time was just taking over the reins of the New York Philharmonic and about to shape it back into the best ensemble it had ever been. The Rite was only the beginning.

The thing with The Rite is that at the ballet's Paris premiere in 1913, it (and, to be fair, the choreography) so shocked audiences that many of them booed and headed for the doors. By 1958 when Bernstein had his chance at it, the world had pretty much begun to take it for granted. So, the question was how to shock the world all over again. Bernstein did it through sheer energy, the power of excitement, producing a performance that continues to thrill us to this day.

Stravinsky described the opening of the piece as "a profound mystic sensation which comes to all things at the hour when nature seeks to renew its various forms of life." Bernstein doesn't build up the atmosphere here as much as some other conductors but seems eager to get on with it, to get to the core of the work, shaping and releasing the tensions and ever increasing the rhythmic pulse like no one before or since. In other words, he begins turning up the heat from the very beginning and never lets it drop. Later, he builds the atmospherics nicely, although this isn't what you'd call a "lyrical" interpretation. It's fiery hot and intensely communicative.

Columbia Records recorded the music in a single session at the Hotel St. George, Brooklyn, New York, in 1958.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remastered and reevaluated May 8, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This newest CD version of Leonard Bernstein's NYPO recording of Le sacre has been remastered for the occasion. The packaging is quite nice - not a jewel box, but a cardboard gatefold with pockets for the CD and the booklet. The CD contains only Le sacre - no fillers.

As far as the performance goes, I hadn't listened to this recording for at least 15 years. Making its reacquaintance has been instructive. The performance is pretty much a one-dimensional approach: all energy and fury...and loud most of the time. Other conductors find much more nuance and power in the score than is on display here.

Take the opening of Part II, for example, where pages and pages of the score go by at a written dynamic no louder than mezzo forte. In Bernstein's hands, those pages are played at a comfortable forte with nary a piano or pianissimo in sight. It's not just a matter of the dynamic. It's a matter of the tone color and quality that one gets on instruments that are not playing piano. Many other conductors get a lot more out of this section.

Bernstein shines in letting us hear all of the written pitches, something that can go missing in other recordings. The brass are stellar most of the time. The winds are often swamped by the rest of the orchestra. There are any number of ensemble problems that one expects and accepts on a recording that was set down in a single day.

As for the remastering, it's excellent, though one can hear a LOT of studio noises, even through speakers (as opposed to headphones). The hiss level from the analogue source tape is pretty high as well. I also felt the bass end was a bit thin overall.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only "Rite" you will ever need April 30, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a remastered reissue of the 1958 Bernstein recording with the NY Phil. He made two more recordings of this work, but this is the only one you will ever need. It's in stereo, and the CD will blow you away. Even Stravinsky himself said "WOW!" when he heard the LP. Just get it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 55-year-old Recording June 1, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This performance of The Rite of Spring, recorded in 1958, is still going strong at age 55. Bernstein's New York Philharmonic during the late 50's was a benchmark of virtuosic orchestral playing. This Rite, along with the celebrated 1959 recording of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony, is among the most revered recordings of all time, but has not been readily available for several years. Thankfully, Columbia Masterworks has remastered the original analog tapes and updated the recorded sound. Still, it is not without a few minor flaws. There is noticeable background noise at the beginning, and the final chord dies out very quickly, perhaps to eliminate residual room noise. You can hear violin mutes being put on in the Introduction to Part Two, and an edit nine bars into Mystic Circle of the Young Girls. Not note-perfect, there are misplaced notes by a second trumpet and a second violin in the rhythmically complicated Dance of the Earth. But these details are inconsequential compared to the compelling playing. While recording techniques have improved technologically, and the playing level of orchestras has improved technically, there is no substitute for the expression, imagination, and raw emotion as exhibited here by both orchestra and conductor.

The CD comes encased in a beautifully designed tri-fold cardboard sleeve with vintage photos and a reproduction of the original LP cover. Even with all the glitz, Bernstein's name is misspelled in the side panel as Berstein. The members of the NY Philharmonic are listed in the accompanying booklet, and a photo of the recording session is shown. The list is a virtual who's-who of great orchestral musicians. While there are too many to list here, some parts are worth noting: Concertmaster John Corigliano, Sr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The landmark recording
Leonard Bernstein's recording of Sacre du Printemps is among his enduring legacies, the best recording of the piece I've heard.
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Wolman
2.0 out of 5 stars In the realm of an "historic curiosa" and not a first rate choice.,
No doubts that this "historic" recording (stereo 1958) of the young Bernstein/New York Philharmonic, is of a profound interest to the Stravinsky Rite of Spring followers, no doubt... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Judy Spotheim
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
I bought this for my boyfriend for his birthday, and not only does he love it I love it! I am so glad we decided my computer was where all of our electronic copies would be so I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ethan Bartlett
5.0 out of 5 stars Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps"
Superb. So much power, beauty and strength. A very fine recording, and a must for all Stravinsky lovers. It took me so long to buy the copy ................!
Published 3 months ago by Michael C.
3.0 out of 5 stars Lower quality than I expected
The quality of the sound on disk was poor. I was as if it was recorded fro ma defective master.
Published 5 months ago by Mark Brailsford
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rite of Spring for the Ages
For years, I wanted to get a CD of this performance. I had read about it and I was wondering if it was as good as claimed. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Frog
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a powerhouse performance after 54 years
CD was fairly priced for a completely remastered recording from the original master tapes. Sound quality is excellent and the 1959 recorded performance is still outstanding for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by William D. Gray
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bernstein's best "Rite"
I would have been grateful if the same wonderful remastering treatment had been applied to Bernstein's 1972 London Symphony performance instead of this, since I think the LSO one... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Long-Time Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
It's unbelievable this analogue recording remained unissued in digital format for so long. It's one of the best "Sacre's" out there!
Published 8 months ago by C. B. Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars very good quality
One of the better and very lively interpretation. Very listenable. The quality of the recording is very good so is the quality of the vinyl.
Published 9 months ago by oliver T. finch
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