Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Neeme Järvi, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra|
Igor Stravinsky: Jeu de Cartes, Ballet en Trois Donnes (Game of Cards, Ballet in Three Deals) / Orpheus, Ballet in Three Scenes - Neeme Järvi / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
It's a pity that the vast popularity of Stravinsky's three early ballets has eclipsed his later dance works. Granted, his rather more austere, neo-classical idiom is in some ways less colorful and easy to take than his ear... more »
It's a pity that the vast popularity of Stravinsky's three early ballets has eclipsed his later dance works. Granted, his rather more austere, neo-classical idiom is in some ways less colorful and easy to take than his early stuff, but both of these works have a lot going for them, including some really good tunes. Orpheus in particular is wholly lovely--the music really does manage to be both sensual and classically pure. Card Game, on the other hand, is just a rousing good time--clearly structured, expertly scored, and highly entertaining. The Concertgwbouw Orchestra really seems to enjoy the challenges that this music presents, and Chandos's recording is positively luminous. --David Hurwitz
Similarly Requested CDs
B. R. Merrick | 10/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard "Jeu de cartes" played by the Utah Symphony, and it was difficult to keep from smiling. Stravinsky's humor is evident throughout, especially the Third Deal, when the tuba showcases a "solo" by playing a one-note blat on every beat, and when the violins and oboe get to do a little parody of Rossini's Overture to "The Barber of Seville." The orchestra did a fine job, and I was fortunate enough to have some fellow music students as friends who immediately snatched up this recording. Järvi does very well with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra here, so my second listen to this work did not disappoint. I admit that I haven't heard any other recordings of this work, as they are simply not necessary. If you want to hear what "Jeu de cartes" is all about, this recording is all you need. Sharp, puncuating brass, charming woodwinds, and precision strings carry the work all the way to its unexpected finish on an unresolved cadence.
And though this is the second and final interpretation of "Jeu de cartes" that I have heard, this is the first and only interpretation of "Orpheus" I have ever heard. I'm not certain why someone would need another. One of the reasons I believe Stravinsky is one of the top three greatest composers of all time is the wide body of styles he embraced, and this CD is an excellent example. The mood of "Orpheus" is dominated by soft, meandering strings and woodwinds, with occasional muted brass (excepting the violent climax). Järvi once again proves his mettle here. If you aren't immediately taken in by the opening descending scales on the harp, wait for these same scales at the end accompanying a dirge in the brass. The weeping French Horn at the end is almost enough to make the listener weep. A beautiful rendition of a beautiful composition."