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Stravinsky, I.: Symphony In C / Symphony In 3 Movements / Octet / Dumbarton Oaks (Craft) (Stravinsky, Vol. 10)

January 27, 2009 | Format: MP3

$7.99
Also available in CD Format
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good performance and excellent sound. Imaging is very good; soundstage has depth with great distinct instrument placement. However, on balance, I prefer Ashkenazy and the RSO Berlin on Decca for the slightly faster and more streamlined pace.
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Format: Audio CD
Naxos has done us a mitzvah by reissuing a series -- this is the tenth CD -- of recordings made by Robert Craft in the 1990s on first the Music Masters and later the Koch International labels. They have recombined them on their own CDs, and indeed this disc has six tracks from Music Masters (1-6) and seven from Koch (7-13). The disc includes two of Stravinsky's symphonies -- Symphony in C, and Symphony in Three Movements -- combined with two of his delicious chamber works, the Octet for Winds, and the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto.

The Octet for Winds, played here by members of the Orchestra of St. Luke's, is a sassy, light-hearted piece for eight winds. Premiered in 1923, it was dedicated to Stravinsky's mistress, later wife, Vera de Bosset. It is in three movements: a kind of overture, a theme and variations, and a jazzy finale. It is probably Stravinsky's first completely neo-classic piece and it has remained a great favorite of instrumentalists and audiences alike. The virtuosos of the St Luke's play it in great style.

The Dumbarton Oaks Concerto (1938) is named for the Washington DC estate of Robert and Mildred Bliss, great friends of Stravinsky, and it was premiered there with Nadia Boulanger conducting. Written for ten strings and five winds, it too is in three movements (delightfully choreographed years later by Jerome Robbins) with the typical concerto grosso fast-slow-fast form. In my mind it will always be inextricably connected with the equally ever-fresh Jeu de Cartes ballet because the two were on my very first Stravinsky recording back in the mid-1950s. But it makes a perfect partner for the Octet as well, sharing as it does Stravinsky's nose-thumbing wit. And this is a lovely, spot-on performance, no surprise with an old Stravinsky hand like Craft on the podium.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this primarily for the Stravinsky Octet. The other Stravinsky pieces are worthwhile, and the performances, under Robert
Craft, are quite good.

Inexpensive too!
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