Following the success of their recordings of Stravinskys Rite of Spring and Petrushka, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton here perform The Firebird. The Firebird was Igor Stravinskys first full-length ballet, but not his first collaboration with Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes he orchestrated two piano compositions by Chopin (also featured on this disc) for use in another project. The disc also includes arrangements of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius, ending with Stravinskys tongue-in-cheek 1955 Greeting Prelude for the 80th birthday of Pierre Monteux. The Bergen Philharmonics disc featuring The Rite of Spring and Petrushka was met with critical acclaim short-listed for a 2011 Gramophone Award, named Editors Choice in Classic FM Magazine.
Full of Glitter and panache. ***** --Mail On Sunday,25/03/12
Litton conducts the original complete 1910 version of The Firebird with the same concern for detail that was a feature of [their] performances [of The Rite of Spring and Petrushka] and the fine grain of the recording ensures that nothing is remarkable score is missed; the Bergen orchestra really is a very fine ensemble these days. --The Guardian, 30/03/12
The BIS engineers have matched the stunning recording achieved in The Rite [of Spring]... The Bergen Philharmonic is extremely well recorded... the woodwind team is on excellent form... Litton's pacing is excellent... He balances his forces well and is alive to the drama inherent to this magical score. --International Record Review
The playing on this disc from Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic is in many ways marvellous, with a good sense of pace throughout much of the ballet. Recorded sound is sensational, especially in surround, with the fanfares at 'Daybreak' and the 'Magic Carillon' really coming alive. Moreover, the arrangements by Stravinsky of pieces by Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Chopin are imaginative fillers. --Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine
There are no forgotten gems to be discovered, but there is the original extravagant orchestration to be savoured, which Litton and his orchestra make the most of. --Paul Gent, The Daily Telegraph