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Stravinsky: Petrouchka; Le Sacre du Printemps


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Audio CD, October 13, 1992
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 1 - First Tableau 9:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 2 - Second Tableau 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 3 - Third Tableau 7:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 4 - Fourth Tableau13:28Album Only
listen  5. Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: L'Adoration de la Terre15:54Album Only
listen  6. Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: Le Sacrifice17:26Album Only

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Frequently Bought Together

Stravinsky: Petrouchka; Le Sacre du Printemps + Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Price for both: $23.67

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (October 13, 1992)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001GGJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,419 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Stravinsky: Petrouchka; Le Sacre du Printemps by The Cleveland Orchestra [Orchestra]

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

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Boulez's DG remakes for these landmark ballets score over his previous CBS versions on sonic and executional grounds. The Cleveland Orchestra's chilly proficiency and regimented perfection, though, seems achieved at the expense of atmosphere and character, as exemplified in Chailly's Sacre with the same orchestra on London, or the composer-led Columbia Symphony Pétrouchka. --Jed Distler

Customer Reviews

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This is my favorite Stravinsky disc, along with Boulez' and Dorati's Firebird.
Arnout Koeneman
The precision that Boulez brings out in this performance makes this Rite a pleasure to hear; its delicate and intricate passages come across clearly.
Douglas Burkett
So, if you want to hear Stravinsky's music being rushed and basically just blown off, get another recording.
Michelle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ira Kaufman on May 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When George Szell was appointed Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1946, he sculpted an ensemble that even 35 years after his death remains the most technically proficient orchestra in the history of recorded classical music. Quite simply, this orchestra is so tight and precise that it is easy to forget that one is hearing 100-plus musicians!

However, much of the 20th century repertoire was beyond his intellectual purview. No greater evidence of this is the dreadful Szell/Cleveland Orchestra recording of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

Enter Pierre Boulez, who seems to understand contemporary music at a cellular level.

Therefore, when a conductor like Boulez is leading an ensemble like the Cleveland Orchestra, the listener will experience such music in a way seemingly impossible with any other orchestra/conductor pairing. Clearly, these musicians love playing for Boulez.

As for this second recording with Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra, it is as one might expect. That is to say, it is very good. Clean, well, conceived, with excellent balance, and for the most part, intelligently paced.

However, it can never be regarded as the definitive recording because of perhaps the most vivid and electrifying recording ever of this work, created in Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra and Boulez in 1969.

The only criticism one might have is that the sound quality is obviously not up to the standards of this DGG digital recording. But the playing on the 1969 CBS recording so precise, so clean, so alive, that even the hardest of hardcore audiophiles, if he or she loves this work, will be taken completely beyond the sound, and into the music.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Both Petrushka and the Rite date from 1911, and these performances of them were recorded in 1991. By that date Boulez himself was not in the springtime of his youth, and it may well be, as some comment seems to suggest, that his readings are less incisive than in earlier days. Myself, I am not even fully convinced that this is the case, and even if it is the compensations seem to me more than to make up for it. These readings are less strident than some, and there is no sense of straining to obtain effects of contrast. Petrushka's cry, for one thing, is relatively euphonious here, and the Rite in general is probably not quite as dramatic as my wonderful performance, extraordinarily well recorded on a Mercury LP about 50 years ago, by Dorati with the Minneapolis orchestra. On the other hand, Boulez at this stage of his career seems concerned more than before with beauty of orchestral tone, and I say without hesitation that this is the most beautiful Petrushka that I have ever heard in my own lengthening life.

In any case, even if the new approach is less forceful than previously, I detect no loss whatsoever of underlying strength. Boulez has always seemed to me ideally suited as a conductor of Stravinsky. His dynamics may be less `terraced' here than he would once have made them, but the clarity of texture that he obtains is as absolute as ever, and his strength of line and rock-steady firmness of rhythm mark him out as they always did. Above all what is bound to strike you in this performance is the sheer quality of it all. Listening to sound as magnificent as this, I was astonished that it had been achieved so long ago as 1991.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arnout Koeneman on May 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite Stravinsky disc, along with Boulez' and Dorati's Firebird.

I never liked Stravinsky's own recordings that much, in Petrouchka he's very rude, he underplays the gentle passages very much and in Le Sacre he's too fast in some parts and therefore not powerfull enough.

I've listened to many records and I must say I quite like a lot of recordings of Le Sacre, but there aren't that many good Petrouchkas.

The only one I almost like as much as Boulez' is Dorati's and Boulez' earlier one for Sony

Boulez might seem a bit unexiting at first glance, but his version is very accurate, precise, sharp and constant moving...his natural phrasing makes his version much more fluid, forward moving, where others stop the music at times, wanting to add too much contrasts in tempi at certain parts.

As a whole Boulez' recording moves along a lot quicker than others, because of his seamless moulding of every single fragmented part...surprising because in some passages he's actually slower than many.

The recording is detailed, spacious and quite refined and maybe that's the reason why many people think it lacks excitement.

Considering only the old records people mention as their favorites, with more direct and louder sound, this doesn't come as a surprise to me.

Yes I would've liked a Mercury Living Presence sound with this Boulez recording, with that sound I'm almost certain many would adore Boulez' Petroushka!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Moisan on March 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The partnership between Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra truly is a match made in heaven. Virtuosity is indeed the obvious outcome when a leading conductor of 20th-century music meets an ensemble long renowned for its impeccable precision of execution. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this recording of Stravinsky's two ballets. Both of them are notoriously challenging and display not only an orchestra's instrumental virtuosity but also its level of musicianship. In this regard, Cleveland passes with flying colors, confirming that they are still the mighty, disciplined and impeccable band they are renowned to be.

The execution is indeed little short of miraculous; precise, assured and disarmingly clean. Woodwinds are given center stage and they don't disappoint. Their playing is intelligent and sensible in solos and in ensembles alike, with perfectly focused tones and flawless tuning. Strings are equally clean and display a most malleable blend and focus, while brass instruments are agile and powerful when needed, but never dominate the ensemble. All in all, this is among the most impressive display of virtuosity I've heard in a Stravinsky recording.

As could be expected, Boulez delivers disciplined ensemble playing, transparent balances and flawless tempi changes. It is indeed hard to believe that 100 musicians are playing here when such cohesion is achieved.

There are a few moments when this level of precision comes at a cost. Many listeners will probably feel that the performances are somewhat tame in comparison to others. No doubt that they are when compared to the likes of Bernstein's account in New York for example. The Rite of Spring is indeed especially tame in comparison.
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