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Stravinsky: Choral Works CD

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Now, Little Grey Duck
  2. Good Day, My Fair One
  3. Oh, Mother, My Little Head Hurtd
  4. Oh, Come To Me
  5. Indoors, Outside
  6. The Tresses
  7. The Bridegroom's House
  8. The Departure Of The Bride
  9. The Wedding Feast
  10. In Our Saviour's Parish In Chigisakh Beyond The Yauza
  11. Ovsen
  12. The Pike
  13. Master Portly
  14. In Our Saviour's Parish In Chigisakh Beyond The Yauza
  15. Ovsen
  16. The Pike
  17. Master Portly
  18. Our Father - Igor Stravinsky
  19. Blessed Virgin - Igor Stravinsky
  20. Symbol Of Faith - Igor Stravinsky
  21. Da Pacem Domine
  22. Assumpta Est Maria
  23. Illumina Nos
  24. The Dove Descending Breaks The Air - Igor Stravinsky
  25. Introitus: T S Eliot In Memoriam - Igor Stravinsky

Product Description


'As magical a musical experience as this imposing score has ever afforded on record. A fascinating programme, prepared and sung to the highest imaginable standards' --Fanfare, USA


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stravinskian treasure trove 24 Sept. 2000
By Mark Swinton - Published on
This disc is one of two released by Hyperion in exploration of Stravinsky's choral music. It contains many gems, familiar and otherwise, and makes for a tremendously valuable addition to any collection.
An excellent ploy is the use of two experienced choirs for the recording: the New London Chamber Choir and the Voronezh District Chamber Choir, with James Wood and Oleg Shepel as respective conductors. Whilst some may find the latter choir a slightly odd-sounding group, their presence adds a wonderfully authentic flavour to the music, most of which dates from Stravinsky's early period - commonly described as his 'Russian' period. Indeed, they open the disc with Four Bridal Songs from the Voronezh District itself, complete with tambourines and dancing (although of course only the tambourines are evident in the recording). These are a superb appetiser for what follows.
The title work "Les Noces," also known as "Svadebka" or even just simply "The Wedding," is without a doubt one of Stravinsky's most celebrated works. As with the Russian Songs, it is a pity that in listening to it we cannot also enjoy the accompanying choreography, although Stravinsky called for a large array of percussion instruments in the score and these add an almost aural choreography to the work. The two featured choirs join forces for this together with four outstanding soloists (including John Potter) and four deft pianists, resulting in a colourful, gripping and explosive performance.
Stravinsky's "Four Russian Peasant Songs" for women's choir deserve to be better known, and here we get the opportunity to listen to both versions: one for unaccompanied voices, the other for voices and four horns. These show as well as anything that part of Stravinsky's mastery lay in his ability to evoke a chosen style whilst remaining completely true to his own: if you can programme your CD player to play these and the opening traditional songs in sequence, you will see for yourself just how successfully this music works.
Westminster Cathedral Choir have recorded Stravinsky's "Three Sacred Choruses" in Latin for Hyperion; on this disc you can hear the original Slavonic versions. They are entrusted to the Voronezh Choir under Oleg Shepel, and he does some rather surprising things to the music (for instance, it is sung at more flexible speeds and with a curious degree of vibrato and 'swoopy' phrasing than on other recordings I have heard). Still, it is good to have them in sequence, presented as Stravinsky might have heard them upon returning to his homeland after nearly a whole lifetime in exile. The New London Chamber Choir follows these with three sacred pieces of a different kind: these began life as unfinished motets by Carlo Gesualdo. Stravinsky was fascinated by them and elected to finish them, but in the process his own musical thumbprints were placed on the music and what we thus hear is a curiously compelling mixture of flavourful Italian polyphony and twentieth century idioms. It is not hard to imagine these being sung in worship.
The programme closes with two fruits of Stravinsky's final years - his serial period. "The Dove Descending" is an eerily beautiful setting of a well-known poem by T. S. Eliot (another figure greatly admired by the composer) and provides further demonstration that Stravinsky could still sound like himself whilst under the influence of Schoenberg's twelve-tone discipline. The "Introit in memory of T. S. Eliot" which closes the disc is a more obviously serial work, setting the opening text of the Requiem Mass for male voices and a small ensemble (viola, double bass, piano, harp and percussion). This is Stravinsky at his grittiest, yet the music - right down to the timbre of the instruments combined - expresses the mood of the text in a wonderfully sublime manner.
This disc is a worthwhile investment, whether you are a Stravinsky addict, a Stravinsky student or just plain curious. It presents an amazingly varied range of works, each one a gem in its own way, performed to a very high standard. Colourful, exciting, well-made: I recommend it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Stravinsky Selections, excellently performed. 31 May 2006
By B. Marold - Published on
'Les Noces and other choral music' is centered around Igor Stravinsky's scoring of five Russian folk pieces done for weddings (the translation of 'Les Noces'). The selection is interesting for so many reasons, not the least of which is the similarity of this material to the great 'The Rites of Spring' as well as a really superior realization of the great Russian tradition in choral performances.

I have heard Stravinsky's 'Tres Sacrae Cantiones' done on other recordings and these are much better, and they fit in well with the other material on the disk.

This disk easily passes the single most important test of a CD. Not only do I enjoy listening to it at least once a year, I really look forward to it, much as I look forward to 'Rubber Soul' as I work my way through Beatles' recordings.

A truly superior recording and selection of choral material.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stravinsky Gems 19 July 2001
By Craig Matteson - Published on
This disc is worth owning and listening to many times. I love Les Noces, but I remember how odd it sounded to me when I first heard it a couple of decades back. The first tracks on this disk are five Russian wedding songs. These provide a WONDERFUL education and context for Les Noces. Even if you are familiar with the piece, these are worth hearing for context.
The other pieces are also not commonly had outside the big collections of Stravinsky works. They are worth hearing and knowing.
These are very good performances done in interesting ways.
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