Ballets Russes, Vol. 6

Les Ballets Russes, Vol. 6

by Sylvain Cambreling
     
 
Finding Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and Maurice Ravel side-by-side on a CD is a little unusual, but it shouldn't be surprising if it's Volume 6 in Haenssler's diverse series Diaghilev--Les Ballets Russes. Considering that Stravinsky's "Pulcinella" and "Feu d'artifice," and Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche" were staged as ballets by

Overview

Finding Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and Maurice Ravel side-by-side on a CD is a little unusual, but it shouldn't be surprising if it's Volume 6 in Haenssler's diverse series Diaghilev--Les Ballets Russes. Considering that Stravinsky's "Pulcinella" and "Feu d'artifice," and Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche" were staged as ballets by Sergei Diaghilev, and that Ravel's "La Valse" was planned for performance with "Pulcinella" but ultimately rejected by the impresario, all these works share the dance impulse, as well as a connection with the early 20th century's most influential modern dance company. Yet a problem with this series is the variability of performances, and listeners are not always treated to the most desirable recordings. The SWR Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg performs with distinction in all four works, though Christopher Hogwood presents "Pulcinella" and Sylvain Cambreling offers readings of "Feu d'artifice," "Till Eulenspiegel," and "La Valse" that make this disc feel a little uneven and difficult to absorb in one sitting. Stylistically, this is to be expected, for each work comes from a different musical tradition, whether Italian, Russian, German, or French, and represents an aspect of late Romantic or modern music that is to some extent at odds with the others. But while Hogwood's performance of "Pulcinella" is mostly bright, crisp, and uptempo, befitting its neo-classical style, it sometimes hits pockets of sluggishness and dullness. Furthermore, Cambreling's renditions are in softer focus, suggestive of quasi-impressionist interpretations, and tend toward a more homogenous orchestral blend, which is blurred somewhat in the highly resonant ambient acoustic. Fans of the Ballets Russes' extraordinary history will find this disc enlightening and will likely collect the entire series, but anyone who wants just one piece above the rest is advised to seek out other recordings of these popular works.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/27/2010
Label:
Swrmusic
UPC:
4010276021919
catalogNumber:
93237
Rank:
320377

Tracks

  1. La valse, poème choréographique for orchestra  - Maurice Ravel  - Sylvain Cambreling  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Pablo Picasso  - Sören Meyer-Eller  - Wieland Hoban  - Margarete Koch
  2. Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 28 (TrV 171)  - Richard Strauss  - Sylvain Cambreling  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Pablo Picasso  - Sören Meyer-Eller  - Wieland Hoban  - Margarete Koch
  3. Fireworks (Feu D'artifice), fantasy for orchestra, Op. 4  - Igor Stravinsky  - Sylvain Cambreling  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Pablo Picasso  - Sören Meyer-Eller  - Wieland Hoban  - Margarete Koch
  4. Pulcinella, ballet with song in 1 act, for 3 vocal soloists & orchestra  - Igor Stravinsky  - Arleen Augér  -  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra  - Robert Gambill  - Christopher Hogwood  - Pablo Picasso  - Sören Meyer-Eller  - Wieland Hoban  - Margarete Koch  - Gerolf Scheder  - Leonide Massine

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