Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally after 35 years, a very welcome appearance on CD., 20 Jan 2011
By 
D. A. Campbell (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
I attended a performance of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale in the early `80's. I was so taken with the piece that I rushed out to buy a copy on vinyl and this was the only version I could get hold of at the time. The original DG recording was issued in 1975 and this is the first time to my knowledge that it has been remastered to CD. It sounds marvellous. The sound is dynamic and detailed with little noticeable hiss. The spoken parts were actually recorded separately from the musicians and this gave the producer control over placement of voices in the sound stage. However, it does sound a little artificial at times with spoken parts sometimes hard-panned to left or right. Newcomers to this recording might find the voice parts very mannered with Ron Moody's devil being plain manic at times. Tom Courtenay as the soldier is alright but Sir John Gielgud as narrator works very well. It is down to Gielgud to portray the emotions felt by the soldier - particularly the despair when the soldier realises what he has lost.

This set is great value with a second CD containing some other Stravinsky pieces for small ensemble and very good sleeve notes are provided. My only (very minor) gripe is that the striking cover art of the original DG vinyl issue has not been used here.

If you loved the original vinyl recording then this is an absolutely essential purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you to "jfpco", 20 Jan 2011
By 
Mr. A. R. Boyes "Alan Boyes" (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
That's the name of the person who sent a comment to my review of another recording of the Soldier's Tale. I made the point then that this recording was my favourite and my vinyl version had died a death. All efforts to find a cd reissue came to nought until he / she alerted me to this Eloquence reissue. I cannot express enough gratitude because it was one of my favourite recordings.

The musicians and actors were recorded three years apart. That sounds like a recipe for disaster but fear not: The drama was assembled by Douglas Cleverdon who made a reputation in assembling fine radio dramas on the BBC and others. It shows here. This isn't meant to sound like a concert hall reconstruction (recording in an empty concert hall would sound awfully depressing); this is a drama to play out in your own living room or headphones if you like.

The Boston Chamber players are in excellent form producing a most polished but suitably spiky rendition of the work. What might astonish is that the actors, separated from their playing by three years get their timing spot on. Ron Moody's "Devil's Song" hits the beat from start to finish - it's a real star turn and tremendous fun to hear. Stravinsky's music displays a dark, dry and often comic book sense of humour. Ron Moody's devil is histrionic (a cartoon villain)but his startling performance makes this a piece I can enjoy with my ten year old son - this is a fairy tale after all.

Tom Courtenay sounds sufficiently young as the naive soldier but perhaps sounds a little aloof. John Gielgud really holds the work together as the narrator sounding very conscious of the music's beat and mood in his own speech - it's not simply a case of speaking to the rhythm of the music but more responding to the spirit of Stravinsky's music. His narration is less naturalistic and more stylised, almost musical, depicting each change in mood or character with the subtlest inflections - a real master class.

Getting a second disc and a stocking filler in the Octet is a serious bonus. That the second disc includes works also by Schoenberg and Berg looks a master stroke. After the wonderful Octet on disc one the second continues with Stravinsky's chamber work in chronological order from the early Pastorale to the Septet, written when Stravinsky began to dabble with tone rows. You appreciate more that in spite of his many supposed stylistic changes, there is the same voice behind that from beginning to end with the same clarity and incisiveness.

That Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony, rescored by Webern, should be the work to immediately follow the Septet looks like - a chance to compare and contrast the two composers as they tentatively moved away from tonality. The final item, the slow movement from Berg's Chamber Concerto takes us to a complete break from tonality. What could be a more logical?

The only fly in the ointment is that the sound recording of the Schoenberg and Berg is not of the standard as that for the Stravinsky. The piano even sounds muffled and distant. I certainly wouldn't say that these reservations even begin to give a reason to avoid this recording. Add to that the excellent sleeve notes - word for word what I remember from the original vinyl for the Soldier's Tale.

For me Christmas came nearly twelve months early this year, when the cd landed through my letter box.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE performance of this fine work, at last!, 23 Jan 2011
By 
Geoffrey Bellamy "SamboGeoff" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
Like many others, I got to know and love The Soldier's Tale in its dramatic version, with actors as well as musicians, in this DG recording from the 70s.
There have been other recordings with text, but this version beats the lot, by some margin. The variety of the voices here is a major asset.

Sir John Gielgud is a wonderful narrator, with pathos as well as drum-tight speech rhythms and lofty attack.
Tom Courtney is suitably "ordinary-sounding" as the simple soldier, who sells his soul to the devil, in a gambling game, stupid boy!
Ron Moody is a fabulous devil, pantomime enough to stress the origins of the tale, but not too pantomime, in my view.

The playing of the Boston musicians is acute, totally accurate and committed, but it is the combination of music and speech which marks this recording out as a must-have, a classic of the genre.

No other cd version can match this one, buy it while it is on release. The other works, though masterpieces in their own right, finely performed, will not be what causes this disk to sell, it is the Stravinsky.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive performance, 9 July 2011
By 
Dr A. J. Carr (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
I have the LP of this performance of A Soldier's Tale, but no longer the means to play it. I've been waiting for years for DG to reissue the recording on CD -- indeed, it should never have left the catalogue. Cielgud is the perfect patrician, aloof observer as the narrator; Courtnay is excellent as the world-weary soldier; and as for Moody, his over-the-top, pantomime Devil is simply brilliant.

I'd love to know why it took so long to re-release this, since it's undoubtedly the definitive performance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the shops again!!, 15 May 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
Fantastic, Deutsche Grammophon under the Eloquence label have at long last reissued this recording. I have a rather scruffy original vinyl but lack the means to play it now. So this is a real bonus as it sounds as good as ever plus the added extras of the Schoenberg and Berg recordings.Also a bargain price- get one now!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant bargain!, 1 July 2012
By 
M. Joyce (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 (Audio CD)
I remember listening to this recording of "The Soldier's Tale" when I was a student nearly 40 years ago and I was delighted to be reacquainted with it all these years later and, moreover, to discover some fascinating works which were new to me.

I've seen "The Soldier's Tale" twice; once with a single narrator and dancers portraying the Soldier and the Devil and recently here in Cairo, a performance with three separate speakers. It is this latter format we get here, although it works equally well with a single voice (Christopher Lee does a good job on my other recording of the work). The speakers here are a distinguished trio; Sir John Gielgud is as mellifluous and musical as ever, Ron Moody is hammily effective as the Devil and although I've never quite "got" Tom Courtenay as an actor, his vocally rather "weedy" performance as the Soldier has grown on me with repeated listening. The sleeve-notes are very illuminating and I was surprised to learn that the work was written as long ago as 1918, conceived as a theatrical piece for the smallest, simplest forces available. Based on Afanasiev's collection of Russian folk-tales, the work had a French text written by Stravinsky's friend the novelist C.F. Ramuz, but it is here given in Michael Flanders and Kitty Black's excellent English translation.

A number of shorter works by Stravinsky also feature on this two-disc set. As well as the entertaining Octet for Wind Instruments, we are given a version for piano and four wind instruments of the Pastorale he originally wrote as a song without words for soprano and piano. The infectious Ragtime was composed for eleven instruments including the cimbalom. The final Stravinsky works come from the early 1950s; the Septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and piano and the Concertino for a string quartet of twelve instruments.

The remaining items are by Schoenberg and Berg. Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony (an apparently self-contradictory title) is here given in an arrangement by Webern. Written for ten wind and five solo stringed instruments, it differs from contemporary writers of symphonies like Mahler and Strauss in the volume of sound and range of tone and is another charming piece. The same can be said of Berg's Chamber Concerto; dedicated to his former teacher Schoenberg, it was composed for two principal solo instruments (violin and piano) supported by three solo wind instruments. We are here given the Adagio in an arrangement for violin, clarinet and piano.

The playing of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players is superb throughout and the recorded sound is impeccable. This is a fantastic bargain featuring some fascinating works. Snap it up while you can!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1
Soldier's Tale, Octet etc./Adagio/Chamber Sym No.1 by Boston Symphony Chamber Players/Gielgud/Moody (Audio CD - 2013)
Click for more info
Usually dispatched within 2 to 4 weeks
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews