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Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Cantata CD


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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Cantata + Stravinsky - Symphony in C + Stravinsky: Three Greek Ballets (Apollo, Agon, Orpheus)
Price For All Three: £19.42

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Product details

  • Performer: David Wilson-Johnson
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of St. Luke's
  • Conductor: Robert Craft
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (6 Nov. 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000I2IUSO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,577 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 TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Pater noster (Otche nash', Our Father): Otche nash (Pater noster)Gregg Smith Singers 1:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Ave MariaGregg Smith Singers 1:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Credo, "Simvol veri" (Symbol of faith): CredoGregg Smith Singers 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mass: KyrieGregg Smith Singers 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mass: GloriaGregg Smith Singers 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Mass: CredoGregg Smith Singers 4:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Mass: SanctusGregg Smith Singers 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Mass: Agnus DeiGregg Smith Singers 2:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Cantata: A Lyke-Wake Dirge (Versus I; Prelude)Mary Ann Hart 1:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Cantata: Ricercar I: The Maidens CameMary Ann Hart 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Cantata: A Lyke-Wake Dirge (Versus II; 1st Interlude)Mary Ann Hart 1:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Cantata: Ricercar II: Tomorrow Shall BeMary Ann Hart10:41Album Only
Listen13. Cantata: A Lyke-Wake Dirge (Versus III; 2nd Interlude)Mary Ann Hart 1:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Cantata: Westron WindMary Ann Hart 2:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Cantata: A Lyke-Wake Dirge (Versus IV; Postlude)Mary Ann Hart 2:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. BabelDavid Wilson-Johnson 4:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Symphony of Psalms: I. Psalm 38, verses 13 and 14Simon Joly Chorale 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Symphony of Psalms: II. Psalm 39, verses 1 to 5Simon Joly Chorale 7:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Symphony of Psalms: III. Psalm 150 (entire)Simon Joly Chorale11:37Album Only

Product Description

Symphonie de Psaumes - 3 Chœurs sacrés russes - Messe - Cantate - Babel / Ave Maria Soloists - Orchestra St Luke's - The Simon Joly Chorale - The Gregg Smith Singers - Philharmonia Orchestra, dir. Robert Craft

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a grab bag, but a very special one. It contains five choral works, garnered from fairly recent recordings on the Koch and MusicMasters labels, sung and played by exceedingly sensitive musicians and led by surely the best Stravinsky conductor we have, Robert Craft. These are among the best recordings I've ever heard of these works.

Probably the most important, and certainly the best known, work here is placed last: the Symphony of Psalms, with the Simon Joly Chorale and the Philharmonia Orchestra. This performance very much emphasizes that the work is for chorus with orchestra, not an orchestral work with incidental chorus, and it is generally gentler than most performances one hears. The Simon Joly Chorale is simply sensational here, with subtle inflections and dynamics, clear diction and impeccable intonation. Craft wisely lets the music unfold without any special rhetorical flourishes and in this respect it resembles Stravinsky's own classic recording. The very slow opening ('Alleluia. Laudate.') of the final movement, Psalm 150, is ecstatic, making the irruption of the agitato section all the more effective. This is a superior Symphony of Psalms.

The disc opens with a cappella works, Three Russian Sacred Choruses, sung in Slavonic versions of the Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Credo. Texts with translations for these and the other works here are not in the Naxos booklet but can be found at [...] . Craft conducts them slightly faster than Stravinsky does in his classic recording but they actually gain from that. The Gregg Smith Singers are the chorus.

Mass (1944-48) was written in New York but there is absolutely no new world influence in the work, unlike other things he was writing at the time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nobody TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
You really can't fault Craft's performances here, or the orchestra. The performances are superior to those made by Stravinsky himself but that is not to say that they are definitive or the best available.

The selection is a mixed bag, but none the worse for that. The Russian Choruses are slight but enjoyable nonetheless. Babel is a curiosity being Stravinsky's contribution to a larger work, Genesis, including work by a range of disparate composers. The subject itself illustrates the weakness of the project - disparate voices unable to build a coherent work. The story of God scattering the peoples across the globe with numerous unintellible languages because, as a team they were proving far too successful, is hardly the best moral tale either. Still it's an interesting curiosity to have in your collection.

The beautiful and refined "Mass" is very well performed but I preferred Bernstein's with the Bath Festival Choir on DG. The setting for male voices and wind instruments represents one of Stravinsky's most polished later neo classical works.

The Cantata is an extremely underrated work and receives a marvellous performance. Set for two soloists, small choir an dchamber ensemble it followed The Rake's Progress but is one of his first works to include elements of a tone row. It still retains his mainly neo classical voice with an english text. His music also relfects the antiquity of the text. There is a fly in the ointment here though, because Thomas Bogdan's voice in the central Lyke Wake Dirge is thin, breathless and reedy. This work cries out for a strong, clear ringing tenor - his voice is too weak to carry the weighiest part of the work.

The Symphony of Psalms is the most well known work on the disc and gets an all round excellent performance. So, whilst his recording isn't perfect, it is still a steal at this price and Robert Craft doesn't put a foot wrong throughout.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laurence WIllis on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a well put together CD that leads you through the sacred works of Stravinsky. The recording are fabulous and the sleave notes are interesting and well written.

If you are interested in Stravinsky, (I personally was interested after studying his music for A level music) then this CD will give you a great introduction to his works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Robert Craft Gives Us Special Stravinsky Choral Works 7 Feb. 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a grab bag, but a very special one. It contains five choral works, garnered from fairly recent recordings on the Koch and MusicMasters labels, sung and played by exceedingly sensitive musicians and led by surely the best Stravinsky conductor we have, Robert Craft. These are among the best recordings I've ever heard of these works.

Probably the most important, and certainly the best known, work here is placed last: the Symphony of Psalms, with the Simon Joly Chorale and the Philharmonia Orchestra. This performance very much emphasizes that the work is for chorus with orchestra, not an orchestral work with incidental chorus, and it is generally gentler than most performances one hears. The Simon Joly Chorale is simply sensational here, with subtle inflections and dynamics, clear diction and impeccable intonation. Craft wisely lets the music unfold without any special rhetorical flourishes and in this respect it resembles Stravinsky's own classic recording. The very slow opening ('Alleluia. Laudate.') of the final movement, Psalm 150, is ecstatic, making the irruption of the agitato section all the more effective. This is a superior Symphony of Psalms.

The disc opens with a cappella works, Three Russian Sacred Choruses, sung in Slavonic versions of the Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Credo. Texts with translations for these and the other works here are not in the Naxos booklet but can be found at [...] . Craft conducts them slightly faster than Stravinsky does in his classic recording but they actually gain from that. The Gregg Smith Singers are the chorus.

Mass (1944-48) was written in New York but there is absolutely no new world influence in the work, unlike other things he was writing at the time. It is sung by The Gregg Smith Singers, the group who also recorded the work in 1960 and who have sung it innumerable times since. This is glorious performance that I prefer by a slight margin to Stravinsky's own version, not only because it is in much better sound but also because the choral soloists are better. They are given superb support by members of the Orchestra of St. Luke's. The orchestration is especially inventive, consisting as it does of two quintets, one of oboes and bassoons and one of trumpets and trombones.

Cantata (1951-52) is based on early English verses including the Elizabethan bridal song, 'The Maidens Came' and the traditional 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day.' Written hard on the heels of Stravinsky finishing 'The Rake's Progress', the solos were written for two of the singers in that opera's premiere, Hugues Cuénod and Jennie Tourel. The musical forces, in addition to the tenor and mezzo soloists, are a female chorus (from The Gregg Smith Singers) and an instrumental quintet of two flutes, two oboes and cello. The excellent vocal soloists are Mary Ann Hart and Thomas Bogdan. The redoubtable Fred Sherry is the cellist.

Finally, there is the brief 'Babel' that recounts the Genesis story of the building and destruction of the Tower of Babel. The piece was originally part of a suite of works by several composers (including Schoenberg) that retold Genesis texts. The work has a narrator who reads from Genesis, Chapter 11, verses 11-19, with one chorus sung (by the Simon Joly Chorale) to 'Behold the people is one, and they all have one language.' The orchestra, quite prominent in the work, is the Philharmonia at the top of their form. I had not listened to my old recording of Stravinsky conducting the work in many years, but on comparison with it I find that narrator David Wilson-Johnson is much superior to John Calicos on the old recording, largely because he is less overtly, how shall I say, hammy.

This issue is impeccably presented and recorded. I would urge Stravinsky fans, even those who have earlier recordings, including those of the composer himself, to grab it.

Scott Morrison
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Choral Offerings 8 April 2010
By Aaron Fryklund - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I purchased this album (digital download) primarily to hear Craft's rendering of Symphony of Psalms. I have had no prior exposure to either the Mass or the Cantata, and I must say was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. I therefore cannot necessarily comment on the context of these interpretations among others, but I will say that the quality of the mp3 conversion is high. There are no blemishes in this digitally distributed version of the album and I would recommend it, although I think if I were to re-purchase this album I might get the CD for the liner notes.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms 31 Dec. 2011
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms is a compilation of recordings that stretches from 1992 to 2002. Rolf Craft leads The Simon Joy Chorale, The Gregg Smith Singers, Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Besides music notes written by Robert Craft the booklet also includes short biographies of the performers. Stravinsky himself said that he wrote these works "to the glory of God" and I being a very devout person I absolutely love his devotion. A marvelous recording indeed. Highly recommended. 5/5.
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