Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements

Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements

by Simon Rattle
     
 

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Igor Stravinsky was no natural born symphonist. Great as his ballets are, in comparison with such earlier Russian symphonist like Glazunov or later Soviet symphonists like Shostakovich, Stravinsky was a symphonic lightweight whose scores often sound more episodic than symphonic. Even in this superbly played…  See more details below

Overview

Igor Stravinsky was no natural born symphonist. Great as his ballets are, in comparison with such earlier Russian symphonist like Glazunov or later Soviet symphonists like Shostakovich, Stravinsky was a symphonic lightweight whose scores often sound more episodic than symphonic. Even in this superbly played collection of his "Symphony in Three Movements," "Symphony of Psalms," and "Symphony in C" (the student "Symphony in E flat" and the utterly unsymphonic "Symphonies of Wind Instruments" are understandably left out), the works sound more like attempts at symphonic argument than truly convincing symphonies. The fault lies not with the Berliner Philharmoniker, which executes Stravinsky's music with unfailing verve and virtuosity, but with music director Simon Rattle, who conducts Stravinsky's scores as if they were sequences of striking musical incidents rather than cogently argued works of symphonic art. The individual parts are all in the right places, but they fail to cohere into a logical, much less a dramatic, form. The result is more a musical variety show than a cogent musical argument. For equally well played but far more coherently structured readings of Stravinsky's symphonies, try Pierre Boulez's 1999 Deutsche Grammophon recording. The Berlin musicians once again deliver virtuosic playing, but Boulez is much better at Rattle at organizing the music into dramatic forms. EMI's recording is clean, hot, and vital.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
[The Symphony of Psalms] is illustrated with bristling drama by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. In an exhilarating performance they balance textural clarity and grandeur.
BBC Music Magazine - Bayan Northcott
These recordings of Stravinsky’s three mature symphonies are carefully considered, well-paced, played with energy and bloom in a focused and spacious recorded acoustic.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/08/2008
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099920763008
catalogNumber:
7630

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony in Three Movements, for orchestra  - Igor Stravinsky  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Simon Rattle
  2. Symphony of Psalms, for chorus & orchestra  - Igor Stravinsky  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Simon Halsey  - Simon Rattle  -  Rundfunkchor Berlin
  3. Symphony in C, for orchestra in C major  - Igor Stravinsky  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Simon Rattle

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