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Stravinsky: Petrouchka - Le Sacre Du Printemps

Pierre Boulez, Igor Stravinsky Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 15.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Stravinsky:  Petrouchka - Le Sacre Du Printemps + Stravinsky - The Firebird, 4 Etudes, Fireworks
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Product details

  • Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (19 Aug 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Gramm (Ims)
  • ASIN: B000001GGJ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 1 - First tableau 9:570.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 2 - Second tableau 4:300.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 3 - Third tableau 7:010.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka / Scene 4 - Fourth tableau13:28Album Only
Listen  5. Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 1: L'Adoration de la Terre15:55Album Only
Listen  6. Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Part 2: Le Sacrifice17:27Album Only


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 YEARS ON 14 Aug 2006
By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Both Petrushka and the Rite date from 1911, and these performances of them were recorded in 1991. By that date Boulez himself was not in the springtime of his youth, and it may well be, as some comment seems to suggest, that his readings are less incisive than in earlier days. Myself, I am not even fully convinced that this is the case, and even if it is the compensations seem to me more than to make up for it. These readings are less strident than some, and there is no sense of straining to obtain effects of contrast. Petrushka's cry, for one thing, is relatively euphonious here, and the Rite in general is probably not quite as dramatic as my wonderful performance, extraordinarily well recorded on a Mercury LP about 50 years ago, by Dorati with the Minneapolis orchestra. On the other hand, Boulez at this stage of his career seems concerned more than before with beauty of orchestral tone, and I say without hesitation that this is the most beautiful Petrushka that I have ever heard in my own lengthening life.

In any case, even if the new approach is less forceful than previously, I detect no loss whatsoever of underlying strength. Boulez has always seemed to me ideally suited as a conductor of Stravinsky. His dynamics may be less `terraced' here than he would once have made them, but the clarity of texture that he obtains is as absolute as ever, and his strength of line and rock-steady firmness of rhythm mark him out as they always did. Above all what is bound to strike you in this performance is the sheer quality of it all. Listening to sound as magnificent as this, I was astonished that it had been achieved so long ago as 1991.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second to none 7 Nov 2010
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Barenboim's Rite is quite excellent: powerful, exciting and perfectly paced. It is totaly compelling: you are drawn in and listen at the endge of your seat but it is supremely musical too. The Chicago orchestra makes a glorious sound which the recording catches perfectly. There are mnay excellent Rites available but this one is as good as any. The Debussy has the same qualities and is just as good. This was some session! The Boulez piece a welcome fill-up. Highly recommended.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
If you are bored of hearing The Rite of Spring played swiftly and cleanly, but were a tad overwhelmed by Valery Gergiev's brutal 1999 recording with the Kirov, then this could be the Rite for you. Barenboim and the Chicago SO are menacingly paced and extremely agressive, but there is also a tight, compacted sound to the orchestra. As for La Mer, this interpretation is a real grower. Barenboim races through it, but it never sounds rushed. It's a harder hearted recording than most others, but that suits La Mer very well- it gives it a elusive, mercurial tone rather than a static, contemplative one. The Boulez is also a nice bonus which reflects niceley the feel of the two main works on offer.

To have captured so well the diverse canvasses of Le Sacre and La Mer is to the credit of the teldec recording quality on this great CD.

P.S To save confusion, I should point out that Pierre Boulez does not conduct at all here- it's Daniel Barenboim.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising power and spontaneity 4 Nov 2003
By CWS
Format:Audio CD
Barenboim has pulled off quite a coup with this recent recording of the Rite. There are, after all, many versions of this piece available. So what makes this version so good? Well, both conductor and orchestra emerge on top form. Barenboim keeps to the essence of the piece: spontaneity. His is a restless, seething interpretation. The power of the Chicago SO is pleasantly surprising. Indeed, this is a Rite which sends even the seasoned listened to the edge of his seat. The couplings, La Mer and Notations are equally evocative and all the pieces here complement each other very well. Barenboim and the CSO have much to be pleased about. As one has come to expect from Teldec, the sound quality is commendable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good. But for GREAT, to back to 1969! 7 May 2005
By Mark Ira Kaufman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When George Szell was appointed Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1946, he sculpted an ensemble that even 35 years after his death remains the most technically proficient orchestra in the history of recorded classical music. Quite simply, this orchestra is so tight and precise that it is easy to forget that one is hearing 100-plus musicians!

However, much of the 20th century repertoire was beyond his intellectual purview. No greater evidence of this is the dreadful Szell/Cleveland Orchestra recording of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

Enter Pierre Boulez, who seems to understand contemporary music at a cellular level.

Therefore, when a conductor like Boulez is leading an ensemble like the Cleveland Orchestra, the listener will experience such music in a way seemingly impossible with any other orchestra/conductor pairing. Clearly, these musicians love playing for Boulez.

As for this second recording with Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra, it is as one might expect. That is to say, it is very good. Clean, well, conceived, with excellent balance, and for the most part, intelligently paced.

However, it can never be regarded as the definitive recording because of perhaps the most vivid and electrifying recording ever of this work, created in Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra and Boulez in 1969.

The only criticism one might have is that the sound quality is obviously not up to the standards of this DGG digital recording. But the playing on the 1969 CBS recording so precise, so clean, so alive, that even the hardest of hardcore audiophiles, if he or she loves this work, will be taken completely beyond the sound, and into the music.

If I had only one recording of this 20th century masterpiece, it would be with this orchestra and this conductor. But not this recording.

Seek out the 1969 CBS recording, for which a five-star rating is inadequte. Once you hear THAT stunning performance, you will never be satisfied with anything less.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 YEARS ON 14 Aug 2006
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Both Petrushka and the Rite date from 1911, and these performances of them were recorded in 1991. By that date Boulez himself was not in the springtime of his youth, and it may well be, as some comment seems to suggest, that his readings are less incisive than in earlier days. Myself, I am not even fully convinced that this is the case, and even if it is the compensations seem to me more than to make up for it. These readings are less strident than some, and there is no sense of straining to obtain effects of contrast. Petrushka's cry, for one thing, is relatively euphonious here, and the Rite in general is probably not quite as dramatic as my wonderful performance, extraordinarily well recorded on a Mercury LP about 50 years ago, by Dorati with the Minneapolis orchestra. On the other hand, Boulez at this stage of his career seems concerned more than before with beauty of orchestral tone, and I say without hesitation that this is the most beautiful Petrushka that I have ever heard in my own lengthening life.

In any case, even if the new approach is less forceful than previously, I detect no loss whatsoever of underlying strength. Boulez has always seemed to me ideally suited as a conductor of Stravinsky. His dynamics may be less `terraced' here than he would once have made them, but the clarity of texture that he obtains is as absolute as ever, and his strength of line and rock-steady firmness of rhythm mark him out as they always did. Above all what is bound to strike you in this performance is the sheer quality of it all. Listening to sound as magnificent as this, I was astonished that it had been achieved so long ago as 1991. Szell had turned the Cleveland Orchestra into a mighty playing-machine, so bring on the right maestro to mould and direct the virtuosity of every section of the band, give them all world-beating engineering, and the end product is an outright orgy of acoustical perfection and beauty. What an amazing bunch of orchestrators the Russian masters were! Stravinsky was a pupil of Rimsky himself, and the master might have envied his pupil if he had heard what we can all, in the third millennium, hear on this disc.

Occasionally everything seems to go right, just as all too often nothing seems to, and here, on top of the outstanding performance and recording, we have a first class liner-essay by Professor Richard Taruskin. I personally wonder whether, even in 1911, the Rite of Spring was as much of a shock to its hearers as Taruskin lets on - he himself admits that what caused the misbehaviour during the Paris premiere was more Nijinsky's choreography than Stravinsky's harmonies. However he has been given adequate space to set out his erudition and his insights, and he has the appropriate material to fill the space with. These days I find it hard to suppose that Stravinsky in general, and these two works in particular, are capable of shocking any but the least experienced music-lovers. To them, and to those who have been around the matter longer, I say that if the word that you would have used to characterise Stravinsky was not `beautiful' it will be after you have got to know this disc. He is my own favourite Russian composer of them all, but I'm not sure I had quite understood what he amounts to in all ways until I had heard what I have heard on this occasion.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated 22 May 2006
By Arnout Koeneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is my favorite Stravinsky disc, along with Boulez' and Dorati's Firebird.

I never liked Stravinsky's own recordings that much, in Petrouchka he's very rude, he underplays the gentle passages very much and in Le Sacre he's too fast in some parts and therefore not powerfull enough.

I've listened to many records and I must say I quite like a lot of recordings of Le Sacre, but there aren't that many good Petrouchkas.

The only one I almost like as much as Boulez' is Dorati's and Boulez' earlier one for Sony

Boulez might seem a bit unexiting at first glance, but his version is very accurate, precise, sharp and constant moving...his natural phrasing makes his version much more fluid, forward moving, where others stop the music at times, wanting to add too much contrasts in tempi at certain parts.

As a whole Boulez' recording moves along a lot quicker than others, because of his seamless moulding of every single fragmented part...surprising because in some passages he's actually slower than many.

The recording is detailed, spacious and quite refined and maybe that's the reason why many people think it lacks excitement.

Considering only the old records people mention as their favorites, with more direct and louder sound, this doesn't come as a surprise to me.

Yes I would've liked a Mercury Living Presence sound with this Boulez recording, with that sound I'm almost certain many would adore Boulez' Petroushka!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some flaws.. 2 Feb 2006
By Redgecko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I always find it amazing that record companies, in this case Teldec, don't take the little extra effort to turn a good product into a great one. In this case their error was to not split The Rite of Spring into 11 tracks for each of the subparts like everyone has done (this recording has only two for each of the two main parts) and include liner notes that explain each of the sections. For collectors that already have other versions this may not be a problem, but for novices that are trying to study the music, the omission is unacceptable. Also, the liner notes stink--2 pages total for the 3 pieces and then 3 pages on Barenboim!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once again, Boulez and Cleveland deliver benchmark viruosity 18 Mar 2009
By S. Moisan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The partnership between Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra truly is a match made in heaven. Virtuosity is indeed the obvious outcome when a leading conductor of 20th-century music meets an ensemble long renowned for its impeccable precision of execution. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this recording of Stravinsky's two ballets. Both of them are notoriously challenging and display not only an orchestra's instrumental virtuosity but also its level of musicianship. In this regard, Cleveland passes with flying colors, confirming that they are still the mighty, disciplined and impeccable band they are renowned to be.

The execution is indeed little short of miraculous; precise, assured and disarmingly clean. Woodwinds are given center stage and they don't disappoint. Their playing is intelligent and sensible in solos and in ensembles alike, with perfectly focused tones and flawless tuning. Strings are equally clean and display a most malleable blend and focus, while brass instruments are agile and powerful when needed, but never dominate the ensemble. All in all, this is among the most impressive display of virtuosity I've heard in a Stravinsky recording.

As could be expected, Boulez delivers disciplined ensemble playing, transparent balances and flawless tempi changes. It is indeed hard to believe that 100 musicians are playing here when such cohesion is achieved.

There are a few moments when this level of precision comes at a cost. Many listeners will probably feel that the performances are somewhat tame in comparison to others. No doubt that they are when compared to the likes of Bernstein's account in New York for example. The Rite of Spring is indeed especially tame in comparison. The "Spring Rounds" for example are a tad too nice and exhibit very little of the "pesante" indicated in the score. In that respect, some may understandably prefer a grittier and more tribal Rite or a wilder, more playful Petrushka; recordings with those qualities abound and should not be missed. But neither should the virtuosity displayed here!

DG's engineers have perfectly captured the orchestra. Crisp and well-defined, the sound has limited warmth and is even a tad dry at times, putting the orchestra under scrutiny. No problem there. Balances are mostly equalized, without any section overpowering the other. The result: an unbelievably transparent sound that lets the score's every single detail come forward. Get ready to hear things you hadn't heard before. Sure, there were moments when I wished for some more relief in balances (the piano is somewhat overpowered in Petrushka, for example) but all in all, this is a very exciting achievement.
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