Stravinsky: Petrushka; Pulcinella

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Leonard Bernstein recorded both of these Stravinsky works -- "Petrushka" and the "Pulcinella Suite" -- twice, with the New York Philharmonic in 1969 and 1960, respectively, and with the Israel Philharmonic in 1982 and 1984. Sony Classical's Great Performances disc presents the two New York Philharmonic recordings, combined with Bernstein's 20-minute spoken discussion of "Petrushka" and what it, and Stravinsky's music in general, meant to him. Bernstein's "Pulcinella Suite" is excellent, very well recorded, and different from any other version and brimming with vibrant energy, although no one looking for a sense of connectivity with this performance and the eighteenth ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Leonard Bernstein recorded both of these Stravinsky works -- "Petrushka" and the "Pulcinella Suite" -- twice, with the New York Philharmonic in 1969 and 1960, respectively, and with the Israel Philharmonic in 1982 and 1984. Sony Classical's Great Performances disc presents the two New York Philharmonic recordings, combined with Bernstein's 20-minute spoken discussion of "Petrushka" and what it, and Stravinsky's music in general, meant to him. Bernstein's "Pulcinella Suite" is excellent, very well recorded, and different from any other version and brimming with vibrant energy, although no one looking for a sense of connectivity with this performance and the eighteenth century music on which "Pulcinella Suite" was modeled will find it here -- Bernstein's reading is stated entirely within a modern idiom. It is a shame the "Petrushka" isn't better than it is, and the ballet is something of a bĂȘte noire in that famous conductors one would expect capable of handling it well achieves only mediocre results. In fast sections dominated by rather rigid motor rhythms, Bernstein's sense of pulse is a little all over the place, whereas in the slower sections he seems to have difficulty maintaining the hushed suspense that characterizes these cues. The recording from Avery Fisher Hall, likewise, is a little off Columbia's highest standards, being dry and somewhat lacking in bass response; even the New York Philharmonic itself seems to be having difficulty with coordinating instruments in passages more sparingly scored. As this recording was made in early 1969, its shortcomings might be partly the result of Columbia attempting to adapt to the new eight-track equipment, which had just come into use; certainly the earlier 1960 recording of "Pulcinella Suite" from the Manhattan Center is clear, full, and vivid. Bernstein's talk, though partly canned, is quite fascinating; no one could sell a classical work like he, and the rapport that Bernstein once established with mass audiences in America was an underappreciated facility that has found no follower. It was originally pressed on a styrene disc included with the original album, and these styrene records were made of soft, injection-molded material that quickly wore out. The inclusion of this mainly verbal track does add value to this reissue, and the "Pulcinella Suite" remains superb despite subsequent changes in attitude as to how this work should be delivered. Just bear in mind that, though the Israel Philharmonic in 1982 was no New York Philharmonic, the recording Bernstein made of "Petrushka" on that later occasion did turn out more successfully.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/6/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 828767874920
  • Catalog Number: 78749

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 1. The Shrove-tide Fair - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (5:12)
  2. 2 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 1. The Charlatan's Booth (Rehearsal No. 58) - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (2:04)
  3. 3 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 1. Russian Dance - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (2:50)
  4. 4 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 2. Petrushka's Room - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (4:24)
  5. 5 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 3. The Moor's Room - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (2:37)
  6. 6 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 3. Dance of the Ballerina (Rehearsal No. 134 - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (0:44)
  7. 7 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 3. Waltz. The Ballerina and Moor (Rehearsal - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (3:19)
  8. 8 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 4. The Shrove-tide Fair (towards evening) - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:04)
  9. 9 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 4. Dance of the Wet Nurses - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (2:40)
  10. 10 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 4. The Bear and the Peasant - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:21)
  11. 11 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 4. The Jovial Merchant with Two Gypsy Girls - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:07)
  12. 12 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 4. Dance of the Coachman and Grooms - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (2:07)
  13. 13 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 4. The Masqueraders - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:29)
  14. 14 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 4. The Flight: The Moor and Petrushka - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (0:45)
  15. 15 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 4. Death of Petrushka - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (0:48)
  16. 16 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1911 version): Scene 4. The Police and the Charlatan - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:18)
  17. 17 Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Scene 4. Apparition of Petrushka's Double - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (1:00)
  18. 18 Leonard Bernstein Discusses Stravinsky and the Petrushka Ballet - Spoken Word & Leonard Bernstein (20:48)
  19. 19–31 Pulcinella, suite for orchestra - Leonard Bernstein & Igor Stravinsky (22:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Bernstein Primary Artist
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