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Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Re-coupled from decade-old recordings originally released on the Music Masters label, this 2006 disc of Stravinsky's sacred choral works led by Robert Craft is in its way as good as it gets for the music. The playing of New York's Orchestra of St. Luke's and London's Philharmonia Orchestra is colorful and strong. The singing of the Simon Joly Chorale and the Gregg Smith Singers is lovely and powerful. And the conducting of Robert Craft, Stravinsky's one-time amanuensis and general factotum, is wholly at one with the music. There's not a melody, a harmony, a rhythm, or a color in these scores that is not represented with absolute accuracy and complete fidelity. The real ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Re-coupled from decade-old recordings originally released on the Music Masters label, this 2006 disc of Stravinsky's sacred choral works led by Robert Craft is in its way as good as it gets for the music. The playing of New York's Orchestra of St. Luke's and London's Philharmonia Orchestra is colorful and strong. The singing of the Simon Joly Chorale and the Gregg Smith Singers is lovely and powerful. And the conducting of Robert Craft, Stravinsky's one-time amanuensis and general factotum, is wholly at one with the music. There's not a melody, a harmony, a rhythm, or a color in these scores that is not represented with absolute accuracy and complete fidelity. The real question is: how faithful is Craft to the meaning of the music? Stravinsky's sacred choral works, after all, are not his usual arch and ironic modernist constructions, but are instead more or less sincere attempts to embrace the faith of his Russian forbearers and any performance of them that doesn't accept and advocate for this aspect of the works is probably missing the point. Whether Craft gets the point is debatable because from the "Three Russian Sacred Choruses" that open the disc through the "Symphony of Psalms" that close it, his performances are undeniably musically brilliant, but nevertheless still seem interpretively and spiritually cold. Where is the awe, the terror, the comfort, and the consolation intrinsic to the music? Final judgement on such matters, of course, will have to be left to the individual listener -- and even those who criticize Craft's spiritual faith will have to concede his musical excellence. The sound of the recordings is uniformly clean, clear, and detailed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/31/2006
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313250424
  • Catalog Number: 8557504
  • Sales rank: 115,991

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Otche Nash' (Pater Noster), for chorus - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (1:23)
  2. 2 Ave Maria, for chorus a cappella (after Bogoroditse D'vo) - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (1:04)
  3. 3 Credo, for chorus - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (2:21)
  4. 4–8 Mass, for chorus & double wind quintet - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (17:04)
  5. 9–15 Cantata, for 2 soloists, female chorus & chamber orchestra - Thomas Bogdan & Igor Stravinsky (23:48)
  6. 10 Babel, cantata for reciter, male chorus & orchestra (for collaborative cantata "Genesis Suite") - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (4:57)
  7. 17–19 Symphony of Psalms, for chorus & orchestra - Robert Craft & Igor Stravinsky (22:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Craft Primary Artist
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