Igor Stravinsky The Complete Columbia Album Collection is an unprecedented reissue of the complete recordings of his works that Igor Stravinsky made for CBS/American Columbia, bringing together for the very first time on CD all of the mono "Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky" recordings issued in the 1940s and 1950s alongside the more familiar stereo remakes from the 1960s, as well as all the authorized performances that Stravinsky's assistant Robert Craft conducted for the label in the composer's presence, after age and infirmity had restricted his own ability to do so.
As the first composer in history to have conducted or supervised the recording of almost his entire oeuvre (much of it more than once), Stravinsky left the world a unique legacy of which New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini wrote in 1999: "In terms of archival importance, this discography is the greatest landmark in the history of recorded music from the classical tradition."
A more comprehensive representation of that discography than any previous reissue, Sony Classical's new set of 56 CDs plus DVD itself represents a major landmark in recorded music, containing no fewer than 23 performances never previously released on CD plus 17 performances newly mastered from the original analogue discs and tapes using 24 bit / 96 kHz mastering technology, while the accompanying DVD, Stravinsky in Hollywood, contains scenes from several big studio films of the 1940s brought together for the very first time with the music that Stravinsky wrote for them.
This historic collection comes with a 264 pages hardcover book containing a complete work catalogue, a detailed discography and a wealth of session photos, along with a major new essay by Stravinsky expert Richard Taruskin, in which he examines how the composer s lifelong distrust of performers and live performances drove him to attempt to preserve definitive accounts of all his works through the more objective medium of recordings.
Igor Stravinsky - The Complete Columbia Album Collection also features facsimile LP labels and sleeves, including cover artwork by Jean Cocteau, the polymathic French writer, artist and filmmaker who collaborated with Stravinsky on his opera Oedipus rex, and by Columbia's legendary graphic designer Alex Steinweiss, the man credited with inventing the modern album cover.
Each recording in this exceptional new set of 56 CDs comes from the best original source. Sony Classical's Igor Stravinsky - The Complete Columbia Album Collection thus represents a major new milestone in the discography of the 20th century's greatest composer.
The composer's New York Philharmonic versions of major works including scenes from Petrouchka from 1940 and the premiere recording of his recently completed Symphony in Three Movements from 1946, "which reflects a new-born masterpiece in the heat of its creation" (Gramophone)
Conducting the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky's landmark versions of Orpheus (1949), Apollo (1950) and the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (1950), with his son Soulima as soloist
His Cleveland Orchestra complete Pulcinella (1953) and Fairy's Kiss (1955), and the 1952 recording of the Symphony in C, which the New York Times's Tommasini describes as "a bit tauter, shapelier and more organic than that from 1962 with the CBC Symphony Orchestra", though, the critic continues, "the later version, a drier tarter performance, seems more boldly modern."
The "definitive" (MusicWeb-International) Oedipus Rex that Stravinsky conducted in Cologne in 1951, with matchless soloists Peter Pears as Oedipus and Martha Mödl as Jocasta, narrated by the work's librettist Jean Cocteau
Stravinsky's 1953 Metropolitan Opera complete recording of The Rake's Progress
The solo and duo piano works recorded by Charles Rosen