Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stravinsky, Bartok, Welser-Most|
Firebird / Dance Suite
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Classical
A born Stravinsky conductor--Britain's loss is America's gai
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now that he is firmly ensconced in Cleveland and making music on a par with Levine in Boston, one can appreciate Welser-Most's great gifts. They certainly weren't apparent to British critics, who sniffed at him during his brief tenure with the London Phil. a decade ago--no doubt the competition for Simon Rattle was too much. EMI had faith in the young Austrain, however, and allowed him to make many recordings over a short period.
This very generous (72 min.) bargain CD gives us three works: Stravinsky's complete Firebird and Symphonies of Wind Instruments, and Bartok's Dance Suite. His exciting recording of Oedipus Rex showed Welser-Most to be a very accomplished Stravinsky conductor, and this Firebird is marvelously natural and engaging. I'm not sure that the complete score sustains interest without seeing the dancers--there are a lot of quiet, unremarkable moments--but this account is recorded very well and played to the hilt. W-M has an innate gift for phrasisng that shows up everywhere. As a bargain issue his Firebird is obviously a first choice.
The Symphonies of Wind Instruments is given an outspoken, assured reading, far removed from the composer's own clinical approach. Simon Rattle's account is also strong, but I think W-M is more vital and less stiff. The rhythms jump, the textures sting.
Bartok's Dance Suite is a very approachable pastiche of elements from Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Arabic dance (the composer had paid a visit to North Africa), and W-M gives an alert, vigorous, extroverted reading. It's much more natural and warm than Boulez's on DG with the Chicago Sym., although a thousand listeners probably know that recording for every one who knows this one.
I risk becoming a one-man cheering section for Welser-Most, but Cleveland knew a gem when they saw one, and with luck his reputation will spread. Certainly this wonderful colleciton deserves to be widely heard and appreciated."