- L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 2
- Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra
Performed with amazing polish and astounding virtuosity, this 2008 coupling of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" and "Rite of Spring" by Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is nevertheless quite dull. It's not really the orchestra's fault. The skill the Dutch players bring to this supremely difficult music is incredible. No matter how excessive the music's technical demands, the Concertgebouw performs everything with consummate professionalism. And it's not really the conductor's fault. Jansons is an extremely talented and tremendously skilled director and no matter how complex the music's requirements, he elicits flawless playing from the Dutch musicians. If there is fault to be apportioned here, it goes to the performing tradition. Where in the early years of their history, Stravinsky's two ground-breaking ballet scores were considered the ne plus ultra of orchestral challenges; the scores have since become repertoire standards and even advanced high school orchestras have taken them up. Thus, when one of the three most virtuosic orchestras in Europe play them, the effortless ease of their performances undercut the scores' intrinsic difficulties, reducing music that was avant-garde to old favorite status and thereby producing performances that, for all their virtuosity, are still quite dull. RCO Live's super audio sound is cool, deep, and detailed, with an astonishing sense of time and place.
|Label:||Rco Live Holland|