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  • Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20
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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20 Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, February 24, 2004
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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20 + Bernstein Century - Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, etc / Bernstein, New York PO + Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue / An American In Paris
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Considering that Stravinsky's Rite of Spring has been around for nearly a century, it's surprising that even today, conductors literally get lost while attempting to beat through it--and that goes for some of the biggest names. Difficult as the piece is, conductors have no excuse for major lapses, now that this recording is available for study. Bernstein not only keeps complete control of the complex rhythms and constantly-switching meters throughout the work but he also interprets it with fire and sweep and emotional versatility. The Firebird is equally breathtaking. It's priceless, too, for the fabulous horn solo played by the New York Philharmonic's legendary James Chambers. --Gwendolyn Freed


1. Introduction. Lento - London Symphony Orchestra
2. The Spring Divinations - Dances Of The Young Girls - London Symphony Orchestra
3. Mock Abduction - London Symphony Orchestra
4. Spring Round Dances - London Symphony Orchestra
5. Games Of The Rival Tribes - London Symphony Orchestra
6. Procession Of The Wise Elder - London Symphony Orchestra
7. Dance Of The Earth - London Symphony Orchestra
8. Introduction. Largo - London Symphony Orchestra
9. Mystical Circles Of The Young Girls - London Symphony Orchestra
10. Glorification Of The Chosen Victim - London Symphony Orchestra
11. Summoning Of The Ancestors - London Symphony Orchestra
12. Ritual Of The Ancestors - London Symphony Orchestra
13. Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen Victim) - London Symphony Orchestra
14. Introduction - Leonard Bernstein
15. The Firebird And Its Dance - Leonard Bernstein
16. Variation Of The Firebird - Leonard Bernstein
17. The Princesses' Round - Leonard Bernstein
18. Infernal Dance Of King Kashchei - Leonard Bernstein
19. Lullaby - Leonard Bernstein
20. Finale - Leonard Bernstein
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0001ENYLM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Shota Hanai on July 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It's a pity for me for this album to put the 70s recording Lenny did with the LSO on Stravinsky's revolutionary "Rite of Spring" instead of the performance he did with the NYPO about a decade earlier.

The 60s recording (which sadly may be only available in the "Royal Edition" series) remains on of my favorite performance of the "Rite" (along with the "Fast and the Furious" Ozawa's with the CSO on RCA), because it has more brashness in the music, more savagery, more tension. His interpretation is far more extraordinary compared to this recording in this album. The extra "ornaments" Lenny added to further exxagerate the wildness and primitiveness in the 60s recording has competely disappeared in this performance, making a more commonplace, even tamed, performance. Same goes with the 80s performance on DG with the Isreal Phil.

Lenny's performance "Firebird" Suite, on the other hand... is an electrifying 5 Star performance... THE main attraction of the album, not the 70s "Rite". This recording was done in the 60s with the NYPO, so there is more youthness and vigor in the performance. While the sound quality is not at its best, the performace is as hot as it can get. You will especially love the climax of the "Infernal Dance" and the "Finale". The only other recording I equally love is Claudio Abbado's performance with the LSO on DG, powerful in its own way... and more crystal-clear).

Proikofiev's "Scythian Suite" (the Bonus tracks) is another plus in this album. The "Dance of the Dark Spirits" is especially thrilling, as Lenny actually takes the tempo a bit faster compared to most other performances, including Abbado on DG and Jarvi on Chandos.

P.S. - Do you notice the "Jaws" theme hidden under the movment?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Transfigured Knight on September 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leonard Bernstein turns an absolutely scorching reading of "The Rite of Spring" in this recording for Sony. What this reading manages to do is leave the listener on the edge of his/her chair anticipating the next phrase. It's savage, it's brutal, it's completely raw, this is where Bernstein excelled in my opinion. This is "The Rite.." with a kind of high-octane engine. The London Symphony Orchestra should be commended for their performance. It will leave you breathless.

The other selections Stravinsky's "The Firebird Suite" and Prokofiev's "Scythian Suite" are also fantastic performances, but it's "The Rite" that steals the show here. I still return to this one and I own most of them: Chailly, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas, Dutoit, Ansermet, Boulez, Salonen, and Stravinsky's own conducting performance. Highly recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In the Royal Edition of Bernstein's recordings with the NY Phil., there was a hair-raising Le Sacre dating from 1958 in vivid sound with lots of impact and incredibly virtuosic playing. This was followed by a surround-sound remake with the London Sym. in 1972 as the fflagship for Columbia's attempt to promote "quadraphoonic sound," a multi-channel successor to stereo which never cuaght on.

The first recording occasioned a "wow" from Stravinsky in one of his memoirs (no doubt in part being ironic). The second recordingt is just as splashy and extroverted, although I prefer 1958 as the more flexible and less blatantly aimed at audiophiles. Both are wonderful and show off Bernstein's exuberance at its best, along with his incredible rhythmic sense. When Boulez arrived at the Philharmonic and recorded Le sacre in 1974, it was like going from a primitive riot to the doctor's office.

This CD in updated sound is the second reading from 1972, now in two channels, the 1958 being out of print--you can track down a Royal Edition copy on the used market usually. The Israel Phil. version made for DG in the Eighties--I don't have the exact date since I threw away the CD--is a parody of the young Bernstein by the old one, and the orchestra is far from being able to master the score.

P.S. 2010 - The Amazon reviewer, in an attempt to sound knowing, says that conductors still get lost in Le sacre, including big name conductors. Could she name some? Modern orchestras of the first and second rank can play the score almost without conductor, and recently Gustavo Dudamel released a riveting recording with his Simon Bolivar Youth Orch.(DG).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an exciting recording conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein manages an incredible amount of energy from the orchestra. The only disappointment is that the production values of the recording don't match current standards, as the recording is somewhat dated. Still, it is a good rendition of The Rite of Spring and The Firebird Suite. I recommend it.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Herman on September 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This recording really is something. Considering how old this rendition is, the depth at which bernstein controls the LSO is remarkable. There are moments when he lets the LSO loose, like letting the animals come out of their cages. He knows exactly how and exactly when to create, what I can only describe as "chaos". Bernstein's love for this arresting piece shines through the second half.

I only complain of the sound quality and the firebird. It is NOT A GOOD FIREBIRD.

BUY IT
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I'm old enough to have attended the opening of the movie Fantasia in Memphis in 1940. That film and its music influenced my life considerably. The Rite of Spring is one of the great compositions woven into that Disney screen magic we all love to see and hear. It is powerful, moving, bright, dark and all of the above to run the gamut of musical emotions. I admit it - I still see the dinosaurs marching. Guilty as charged, Uncle Walt.
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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20
This item: Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919) / Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20
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