Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Classical
The eighth volume of the Musicmasters portrait of the 20th century's most celebrated musician is entitled New Directions, but most of the works on this recording--Capriccio, a brief piano concerto; the Cantata of 1952; and... more »
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The eighth volume of the Musicmasters portrait of the 20th century's most celebrated musician is entitled New Directions, but most of the works on this recording--Capriccio, a brief piano concerto; the Cantata of 1952; and the Septet, written a year later--represent, alas, Stravinsky's exuberant neo-classicism. As usual, Robert Craft conducts with intelligence and elegance. More interesting musically are the Three Songs from William Shakespeare and In Memoriam: Dylan Thomas. The last of many styles Stravinsky appropriated in his long career was serialism, and the results, as one would expect, are entirely personal, entirely enchanting. --Joshua Cody
Wonderful exploration of lesser known Stravinsky works
Chris Sahar | 11/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would give it 5 stars if the sound quality were better and the performances were consistently outstanding. But the sound ranges from very good to good and the performances range from excellent to very good. Also, not all of the works are Stravinsky's stongest --- the Capriccio's first two movements are great - clear and satisying structure, enthusiastically played --- then the third movement concludes but it seems premature. I need to listen to this again. The Septet is a great piece -- a great insight into his counterpoint --- but again he doesn't break any stylistic territory, rather savors the language he has developed.
What is most fascinating about this CD is how it reveals how Stravinsky's counterpoint, starting in his mid to late neoclassical phase, changed from strongly instrumental to vocal. There is not enough space to explain in detail my point but I advise listening carefully to the Cantata. A tough work in that The Lyke-Wake Dirge, which with its recurrence gives the whole work a rondo-like structure, is quite plagent and suggests a more neo-rennaissance style (think Byrd meets Monteverdi mixed into the Stravinsky cuisinart!).
Also, the vocal seems strained at times and I think it is in part that the timbre of the instrumentation and their lines really test the singers ability to stay on pitch. Nevertheless, the performance could be better (again it is a good one, just not outstanding or excellent).
Overall, if you are a Stravinsky fan or looking to explore less recorded works of his -- highly recommended. If you are looking for a recording to introduce you to Stravinsky I would steer you to recordings of his most famous works - Petrouchka, Firebird, Sacre du Printemps, Rake's Progress, Dumbarton Oaks, Appollon and Muscagete (sp?) and Boulez's recordings of some of Stravinsky's serial works.
J. Darby | 02/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is a collection of lesser know works, but is my favourite Stravinsky - possibly one of my favourite CDs. Cantata is outstanding, you can dive into the music and be refreshed by a stunning beauty and a creative force that has few equals. Also I adore In Memoriam: Dylan Thomas - a work worthy to that embyonic partnership that can only make you wonder what might have been"