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  • Stravinsky: Symphony in E-flat, Op. 1 / "Firebird" Suite / Scherzo à la russe
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Stravinsky: Symphony in E-flat, Op. 1 / "Firebird" Suite / Scherzo à la russe

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Audio CD, June 10, 1997
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1. The Firebird: Introduction
2. The Firebird: Pantomime I
3. The Firebird: Pas de deux
4. The Firebird: Pantomime II
5. The Firebird: Scherzo
6. The Firebird: Pantomime III
7. The Firebird: Rondo
8. The Firebird: Infernal Dance
9. The Firebird: Lullaby
10. The Firebird: Final Hymn
11. Scherzo a la Ruse
12. Symphony In E Flat Major: Allegro moderato - Allegro molto
13. Symphony In E Flat Major: Scherzo: Alegretto
14. Symphony In E Flat Major: Largo
15. Symphony In E Flat Major: Finale: Allegro molto - Presto
16. Canon on a Russian Popular Tune

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (June 10, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GYO
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,189 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Nylund on October 30, 2003
Here is an outstanding CD that features one of the most familiar of Igor Stravinsky's compositions in a less frequently performed version plus three works which are seldom performed or recorded. The unique thing about the recordings is that they are by a very fine Russian orchestra and conducted by a capable Russian conductor.
"The Firebird" is probably Stravinsky's best-known work. It was his first major triumph, when the original ballet was premiered in Paris in 1910. Typically, Stravinsky extracted a concert suite from the ballet in 1919 that was widely performed and recorded. However, in 1928, when Stravinsky decided to record music from "The Firebird," he prepared a special, rather extended suite. The 1928 version is closer, in some ways, to the 1945 published suite that Stravinsky prepared. Mikhail Pletnev chose to use the 1945 suite, which is very long and contains all of the major sections of the score; only the interludes are omitted. Interestingly, Stravinsky himself made a recording of this suite in what proved to be his very last recording session, in 1967. This Russian recording is an outstanding representation of the colorfully-orchestrated, delightful work. The musicians play with absolute brilliance and the listener has a particularly enjoyable time listening to the results.
Stravinsky's "Symphony in E" is a very early work, dating from 1907, and pays considerable tribute to Tchaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakoff, with whom Stravinsky was then studying. Stravinsky had yet to display his individuality and Rimsky told others he wasn't all that impressed with the young composer. Of course, Rimsky had very high standards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Merlyn on September 12, 2012
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In general I agree with both the prior reviewers as to the value of the CD to Stravinsky collectors.

However, neither mentions a really big problem. The sounds quality resembles what you would get by throwing a couple of wet blankets over the microphones, or maybe moving the mikes out to the lobby.

The disk originates from 1996. DG was useing something they called "4D" DDD recording technology. Thankfuly it died a quick and well deserved death.

If you can put up with something that sounds like average mid 1950 mono quality only in stereo, you are good to go. Otherwise I suggest trying to get a cheap version from an Amazon merchant.

Worth having for Stravinskians for the reasons other reviewers have stated, but be aware of what you're getting. Revier GD calls "the 1945 Firebird suite well worth hearing if lacking just a little in color and magic." I agree. But the color and magic is missing because of the sound problems.

The 2 stars are for the really poor quality, otherwise 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.D. VINE VOICE on April 8, 2012
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In one sense, at least, this is a useful collection of some of Stravinsky's early works, and in any case it is a collection that really spells out the composer's roots in the Russian silver age as well as Tchaikovsky. The latter composer is an especially audible influence in Stravinsky's opus 1, his Symphony in E flat. I suppose the influences are particularly noticeable in the finale; the latter obviously modelled after the older composer's fifth symphony. The slow movement, with its rich textures and poignant atmosphere may also strike listeners as particularly uncharacteristic. Nevertheless, there are plenty of elements that point forward to the mature composer as well, in particular in the scoring - though even here there are plenty of points of connection to composers like Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The symphony is not very frequently heard - I don't know any of the alternative performances, but notice from the timings that Pletnev takes a rather quick-paced approach. To my ears, at least, that sounds entirely appropriate, and the music comes across as well-shaped, coherent, and colorful, elegant but with powerful, emotionally charged climaxes, perhaps a little too civilized overall (the performances, that is; the music is uncharacteristically emotionally charged), but nevertheless very satisfying. And while the symphony is no masterpiece it is a fascinating work, well deserving of occasional performances in its own right, in addition to its value as a document of Stravinsky's development as a composer.

The Scherzo a la Russe is far better known, and deservedly so. In this case, however, the Pletnev performance sounds just a little bit earth-bound and lacking in the fiery joyousness and buoyancy of some other performances.
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