Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Rahbari, Brussels BRT Philharmonic Orchestra|
Stravinsky: Firebird & Petrushka Suites (plus Suites Nos. 1 & 2, for chamber orchestra)
Excellent sound, and spirited playing make this a good barga
Alan Majeska | Bad Axe, MI, USA | 09/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Naxos has released a bargain version of 2 of Stravinsky's ballet suites: FIREBIRD and PETROUCHKA, by Alexander Rahbari/BRT Philharmonic (Brussels) and if the results are not stunning, or a recording for the ages, excellent sound and spirited playing make this a good bargain. Rahbari favors many fast tempos, and if the BRT Philharmonic is not the equal of Ormandy's Philadelphia orchestra in the 1960s, they play very well, with great spirit and fervor. There is some reverberation noticeable in loud passages or chords at ends of scenes, but it is not intrusive or distracting.
I am a Stravinsky fan, and have a number of recordings of his 3 ballets: FIREBIRD (complete ballet and suite); PETROUCHKA (complete ballet and suite); and THE RITE OF SPRING. Note that Rahbari's PETROUCHKA is a shorter suite which ends with a sudden loud chord, and about 5 minutes less music than the complete ballet. The lesser heard discmates here are very fine, and rarely recorded.
This is a good bargain CD of Stravinsky's early ballets. I wouldn't recommend this as an only recording of these works, but if you're looking for these to fill a gap in your library, don't hesitate: the price is low, sound and playing very good."
Revised Suites for Smaller Orchestral Forces
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 05/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Igor Stravinsky (1882 ? 1971): The Firebird Suite (Suite No. 2, 1919); Petrushka (1947 Suite); Suites Nos. 1 and 2 for Small Orchestra. Performed by Robert Groslot, piano, and the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels, conducted by Alexander Rahbari.
Recorded at the Concert Hall of the Belgian Radio and TV, Brussels, in January, 1990.
Naxos 8.550263. Total time: 65?47?.
To be fair to Naxos and Rahbari, the inlay of this CD does point out quite clearly that the recording does not offer the original versions of Stravinsky?s music. These are all suites that the composer extracted or orchestrated later in his life from earlier pieces. This means, in the case of The Firebird and Petrushka, that not only was the music abbreviated, but the orchestral forces were also reduced. The two short Suites for Small Orchestra were originally conceived as easy pieces for piano, written for Stravinsky?s children and orchestrated by the composer some ten years later.
For me personally, it was the Petrushka Suite which made this CD really worth listening to. Although the recorded sound could be better, I found myself glued to my stereo here, with the hurdy-gurdy effects of the ?Shrovetide Fair?, the winds and the percussion all getting to me. Unfortunately, I cannot really say the same for the Firebird Suite, perhaps because I know Sir Colin Davis? recording of the original ballet with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on Philips: the magnificent conducting and playing there, combined with Philips?s superior sound, definitely show up Naxos?s and Rahbari?s limitations (even taking account of the different versions played). The two minor suites at the end of the CD are only very short, but also worth the hearing.