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Stravinsky: L'Oiseau de feu/Le Sacre du printemps/Persephone [Box set]

Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Audio CD


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Disc: 1
1. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Introduction
2. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): The Enchanted Garden Of Kaschei
3. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Apparition Of The Firebird, Followed By Ivan Tsarevitch
4. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Dance Of The Firebird
5. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Capture Of The Firebird By Ivan Tsarevitch
6. L'Oiseau De Feu (The Firebird): Plea Of The Firebird; Apparition Of The Thirteen Enchanted Princesses
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Introduction
2. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - The Augurs Of Spring; Dances Of The Young Girls
3. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Ritual Of Abduction
4. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Spring Rounds
5. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Ritual Of The Rival Tribes
6. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1: Adoration Of The Earth - Procession Of The Sage
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Persephone: The Abduction Of Persephone - I. Stravinsky
2. Persephone: Persephone In The Underworld - I. Stravinsky
3. Persephone: Persephone Reborn - I. Stravinsky

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars persephone is beautifully coherent and lyrical 19 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I agree with most reviews I have read--MTT takes overall a lyrical view of all three works. Persephone benefits most from this. All works clearly exhibit MTT's ability to maintain a rock solid rhythmic pulse. Recordings are clear and well-focused. Since I collect all versions of these works, they were must acquisitions. Now that I've heard them, I'd put all three works near the tops of my "lists". Haitink's Firebird on Philips provides more shear wonder and beautiful phrasing. Zander's Rite is still very thrilling, though I recall a late 50's Monteux on RCA with the Orch. Paris Cons. that struck me at the time as nearly overwhelming. Igor Markevich's several recordings are similarly in a special class. So, MTT provides intiguing insights into the workings of the Rite's orchestration, but you won't whisper "wow" at its end. Persephone is, on the other hand, altogether wonderful.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb readings with excellent sound to complement them 27 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The San Francisco Symphony has experienced a rebirth with Michael Tilson Thomas, and nowhere are the results more dramatically demonstrated than in this outstanding CD set. Whether Thomas's personal relationship with Stravinsky makes any difference in his readings is hard to say - someone should ask him - but the ballet warhorses come to life in this CD and Persephone is a revelation to those who, like me, had never heard it before. The sound quality of these CDs is also outstanding, particularly on a system that can handle a wide dynamic range and present a realistic illusion of the orchestra arrayed across the stage. Most large label recordings do not match the sound quality of this one. It deserved all of its Grammys, including the engineering award, as in this case the engineering serves the music and proves what a big label can do when it tries hard enough.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording 11 May 2000
By David Gottner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is the best recording of the Rite of Spring on CD ever! The engineering is top notch (much better than most recordings these days), which befits the Rite and the Firebird. As for the performance itself, the recording of the rite is excellent, with lots of contrast between the heavy percussive parts and the more lyrical passages. There are also some dramatic tempo changes in the work which are played out quite well. Overall, I prefer this Rite to the Bernstein recording.
The Firebird is acceptable. The finale is not as overpowering as the Gergiev recording, but the work is easier to listen to as a whole than the Gergiev version.
Then to top it all off, Persephone is included in this set, probably one of the few recordings made of this work, and is also a good listen.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Recording 4 Oct 2001
By Hermes Camacho - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Probably one of the best recordings of Le Sacre du Printemps and L'Oiseau Feu and the best recording I've heard of Persophone, Michael Tilson Thomas and the brilliant San Francisco Symphony brings a refreshing new look to classic Stravinsky.
Persophone is an abosolute gem of a work. Rarely performed or heard on the radio, SFS took a chance in putting in on this CD in lieu of the often coupled Petroushka. The soloists are superb.
Le Sacre du Printemps is a challenge for any orchestra, but this group is able to make it seem easy yet full of life. This interpretation can easily be compared to many of the great recordings. The brass are clear and pristine, the strings lush and, when need be, brash, the ensemble playing, succinct.
I have always preferred the full ballet version of the Firebird over the suite for reasons of orchestration and a fuller effect on the lister. There is so much more life in the full ballet, which can be heard with MTT and the SFS. It is dramatic, lush, powerful, full of life, colorful, and eminates youthful exhuberence. The winds in this recording bring such vitality to their parts.
If there were any complaints I would have for the recording, it would be Bernstein's influence on MTT sprouting in the score, from a few fermatas held too long and rubato that didn't seem to work. Nevertheless, the energy that this group puts into the piece is phenomenal and breathtaking.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persphone, especially: WOW... 20 Sep 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I agree that this is an absolutely wonderful set, however I think that the thing that makes it most special is Persephone. I have Gergiev's Firebird, and frankly, I think it is better (and I don't think that MTT's Firebird is easier to listen to--the oppisite, as a matter of fact). Admittedly, MTT's Rite of Spring is wonderful, but what is truly exceptional--and absolutely beautiful is Persephone. Also, although it does take more than one or two listenings to begin to fully appreciate Persphone, it does not necessarily take five years...more like a couple of months! And it doesn't hurt to read the following in the accompanying pamphlet (complete with Gide's poetic French text to Persphone, also translated into English, following): "Persephone is also the composer's love song to Vera de Bosset who became Vera Stravinsky in 1940: 'Whatever tenderness or beauty may be found in the music is my poor response to those qualities in her.' "
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