Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stravinsky, Knussen, London Sinfonietta|
Flood / Variations
Genres: Pop, Classical
Julian Grant | London, Beijing, New York | 01/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At last - late Stravinsky played musically by someone who has lived with this style and assimilated it to its very bones! The Requiem Canticles recieve a stunning performance, finely etched and honed, every detail of its magical sound world precisely observed. The bell effects in the Epilogue are breathtaking - you'd rarely get such unanimity of attack and dynamic perfection in a live performance. Strong solo performances too. The recording on the Stravinsky edition (conducted Craft) was always one of the most disappointing with rough choral intonation and a cactus-y recording, so this is doubly welcome. The revelation on this CD is the recording of 'The Flood', so often regarded as the Cinderella of Stravinsky's dramatic works. Here this strange hybrid casts a spell, the pictorial moments are beautifully etched. The narration is unobtrusive, if a little 'BBC' and redolent of the schoolroom in quality - the Stravinsky recording (which this undoubtedly supercedes)has a starry line up including Laurence Harvey and Elsa Lanchester which is (understandably) superior. Superlative performances of the Variations - and of 'Abraham and Isaac' - a piece I find totally resistable in every way, you may differ. The Wuorinen piece is interesting and well worth hearing, though any composer must suffer in comparison to the trenchancy and individuality of the best of these late works. Buy, and if you are new to these pieces, start with the 'Requiem Canticles'."
Terrific Recording! But Dunderheaded DGG Dropped It
Karl Henning | Boston, MA | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My title ought really to have trumpeted what a great job Knussen has done in preparing and recording this music. As a composer himself, Knussen has an unusually acute affinity for this literature, which he takes great pains to bring off accurately.The Flood is more than merely accurate, though; it is here realized as a flowing dramatic narrative. James Wood deserves great credit for expertly preparing the New London Chamber Choir both in this, and in the Requiem Canticles.The notion of having the voice of God represented by more than one voice singing (and not in unison), inspired related treatment in Wuorinen's Genesis.The crowning lament in DGG's having dropped this disc, is the Wuorinen Reliquary, built from sketches which Stravinsky left at his death (and what a testimony to an active musical mind, that he was sketching fresh works at such an advanced age). Wuorinen's piece is a fine achievement, a setting for these sketches, the setting itself skilfully woven, largely out of gestures from other serial Stravinsky works.Write to DGG; tell them they made an artistic mistake in deleting this item from their catalogue."
John Bolender | Ankara Turkey | 06/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite Stravinsky's reputation as a musical giant of the last century, his later serial compositions often don't get the attention they deserve. So this CD is much appreciated. Without going into the virtues of the CD, which I see other reviewers have amply done, I want to make a different point: It's time we had a new recording of Stravinsky's Threni. Many people say that S's Requiem Canticles is his most successful 12-tone composition. I can't agree. Requiem Can. is too much like a series of independent pieces and not enough like a unified composition. Threni, I want to suggest, is his most successful 12-tone piece. Highly unified, the first chord ultimately ushers in the last. It is a sustained meditation highly focused on a single mood space. Requiem Can. is too much like a compilation of pieces which happen to have some serial links to one another. My point -- my plea -- is this: If there are any conductors out there listening, please consider recording a new performance of Threni. It's long overdue and would be much appreciated."