8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A definition of musicianship,
This review is from: Boulez Conducts Stravinsky (Audio CD)
I remember Boulez at the Proms in several works, including some of his own and his teacher Messiaen.
He excelled in Bartok (like only Lehel)but in Stravinsky he always brought, and still brings, an understanding close to perfection.
This set has no single 'crowning glory' in what we might call the crown jewels but go straight to his Cleveland 'Rite of Spring'. When this came out on CBS it was compared to Stravinsky's own and both sit together. The composer is more from the page than Boulez but is said to have admired what Boulez got out of the early ballets.In The Rite Boulez goes for the pulse and detail of the whole and this allows the amazing work to stand as a whole experience. One can almost 'see' the ballet but who needs dancers. Boulez avoids the flashy and ponderous. He understands Stravinsky from the inside.
This shows again in 'Symphony of Psalms', where he takes the composer's own slower pace than marked in the last section of the work. Gondola pace. This remark will not be lost on Stravinsky afficionados.
But if buyers have doubts, check out the smaller works and how Boulez elevates the Dylan Thomas Dirge Canons and Song to greatness, the 'Symphonies of Wind Intruments' to the key work it is and the strange cantata 'Roi Etoiles' to the recording it has always deserved.
Stravinsky conducting his own work has one sort of magic. Boulez brings the professional conductor/composer musicianship to the works with accuracy, respect and love.This is another sort of magic.