Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite/Nightingale/Rite of Spring
Listen to Samples
Impressive but cool
Chris Honingh | Krommenie, NH Netherlands | 08/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These magnificent works of art by Stravinsky are being played and recorded by numerous orchestras and the Minnesota Orchestra under Mr. Oue has made a startling performance of it. But there are some catches to it, and I think it is the excellence of the performance that bothers me most. Especially in the Firebird there is a lack of prominence, a lack of joy de vivre, and although the drumbeats are breathtaking, the intentions of Stravinsky are not fulfilled. As a matter of fact, there are better performances than this one, i.e. The Firebird in its original setting by Gergiev on Philips or The Nightingale by Dorati on Mercury Living Presence. Most of my criticism is focused on the point that it does not sound Russian enough. The recording by Reference Recording is flawless, although you should turn up your equipment to a rather unusual high volume to hear all details."
Excellent and Refined
Isaac J. Thompson | Shoreview, MN United States | 01/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD I believe is very well done. The engineering of this recording is excellent and the quality of the orchestra is superb. Maestro Oue does a great job of taking the listener through the mind and works of Stravinsky. The Firebird is my favorite piece on the CD. One of the most wonderful moments in modern music is the beautiful horn solo at the beginning of the Finale. The Rite of Spring is also incredibly done. The emotion and the quality of this recording is at the highest level possible."
B. R. Merrick | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a powerhouse CD. Oue's time with the Minnesota Orchestra was not wasted. Most impressive about this CD is the technical level of the recording. The bass instruments are deep and sonorous. It also has to do with the way the orchestra plays, however. Their tunefulness and precision are astounding at times, and more than satisfactory the rest. I heard things in "The Rite of Spring," my favorite work of all time, that I never heard with any other orchestra. Mind you, I hear them all the time now, with any recording, but that is only because of the way the piece is played here. Note especially the strings hitting the ceiling of their stepwise climb during the final tornado! My only complaint is that the percussion is at times too soft when I'm expecting the big bang, and too powerful during the French Horns' climactic theme during the "Ritual Action of the Ancestors" near the finale. Small complaints, I assure you.
I also don't care for the slower tempo during the "Infernal Dance of King Kashchei" in "The Firebird Suite." Another minor gripe. The extremes between bass and treble in this part alone are worth the price of the CD.
To top it off, a beautiful rendition of "The Song of the Nightingale" between the two better-known masterpieces. Oue's sensitive handling of the tapered, arrhythmical ending of this one should not be missed.
I may not agree with all of the interpretation, but this is a keeper."