Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version)
La boîte à joujoux (The Toybox), ballet, L. 128
Continuing their exploration of 20th century masterpieces, Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony present two scintillating ballets that share an undeniable affinity, Igor Stravinsky's "Petrushka" and Claude Debussy's "La boite à joujoux" (The Toy Box). Stravinsky and Debussy were leaders among the modernists based in Paris in the 1910s, and they became friends and mutual admirers of each other's music. Indeed, there are several similarities between these ballets, not least that the principal characters are a marionette in "Petrushka" and a doll in "La boite à joujoux." Debussy was so impressed with "Petrushka," which he heard in 1911, that two years later he styled "La boite à joujoux" after it. Both scores offer extremely colorful and atmospheric orchestration, with a virtuoso piano part as a focal point, and their playful melodies and sophisticated harmonies have much in common. Morlot's conducting is precise, and the orchestra delivers vibrant performances that emphasize the sparkling timbres and buoyant rhythms of both works. Seattle Symphony Media's recording is clear, noiseless, and finely detailed, so every note is perfectly audible, an important consideration with the many dazzling passages in these live performances.
|Label:||Seattle Sym Media|