Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Igor Stravinsky, Bernard Haitink, Igor Markevitch|
Igor Stravinsky: The Great Ballets
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One of Haitink's very best records
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With an assist to Igor Markevitch for his work in "Apollon", this is one of Bernard Haitink's very best records and probably says most about what kind of music the conductor best interprets.
His work in the three great Stravinsky ballets, "L'oiseau de feu" (The Firebird), "Petrushka" and "Le Sacre du printemps" (The Rite of Spring) are the best renderings I have ever heard of these scores, far surpassing the composer's work on Columbia/Sony, in my opinion.
While I have never been a great fan of Haitink and believe he lacks the personality to compete in the CD world in the Romantic symphonies of Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovksy and others, I believe he is particularly in his element here and in another similar Philips twofer of the music of Claude Debussy.
What is the corollary between the two? Both are 20th century composers whose music is more suggestion than statement. The gentle delicacies of "The Firebird", in particular, meet best with the Haitink sensibility to be linear, literal and understated. While these qualities do not translate well in highly charged Romantic music, they are extraordinarily appopriate in these scores, which have been overblown and overplayed countless times on CD by more Romantic conductors like Bernstein.
As if the interpretations and performances themselves were not enough, the recordings of these wonderful "modern" scores -- "The Rite of Spring" is often cast with Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" as the first piece of "modern" music -- are equally extraordinary. The clarity and sound spectrum of these recordings is among the best I have heard from the analog era translated to digital CD. The orchestras play very well throughout and follow Haitink's sensitive leadership at all times.
I have been critical of Haitink's way with Shostakovich and Vaughan Williams in other of my reviews, but I must say here is the essential Bernard Haitink and a demonstration of the very best work he can do. If you have the slightest interest in these scores, I urge you to buy the low-prices classic recordings of Stravinsky's earth-changing music."
The Rite Stuff
Benjamin R. Garrison | Lynnwood, WA United States | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for a great recording of "The Rite of Spring," look no further. This is it. Stravinsky's other ballets are included and they are excellent as well, but after hearing this particular version of the 'Rite' on the radio, I knew I must have it. I've heard many other interpretations and Haitink has come up with the sine qua non of all Rites. The orchestra delivers an almost superhuman effort. The conversations between various instruments and sections come across with utmost clarity--even during complex moments. No detail has been muddied or lost. The percussion section is outstanding. Better than outstanding--they're amazing! The end result is the most powerful, chilling and riveting 'Rite' you'll ever hear. My highest recommendation."
Great buy; excellent introduction.
Christian Miller | UK | 02/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great stuff. Two discs of Stravinsky's best known music, and Apollo Musgate, which I had not heard before I bought this disk. So; great value, and an excellent introduction to the Guv'nor. Bernard Haitink does a fine job. The Rite of Spring scares the screaming heebeejeebees out of me. I don't believe people who say they've got used to it; maybe it's Haitink's fine conducting which re-injects the violence and evil into this war-horse. Fine performances of the others as well. Experience with Stravinsky's Russian predecessors serves Haitink well for the Firebird. Highly recommended."