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Stravinsky: Petrouchka

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Dec. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00008GENY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,451 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Shrove - Tide Fair. The Magic Trick. The Russian Dance
  2. Petrouchka's Room
  3. The Blackamoor's Room. Dance of the Ballerina. Waltz of the Ballerina and the Blackamoor
  4. Scherzo a La Russe
  5. Introduction
  6. The Firebird and her Dance / Variation of the Firebird
  7. Round of the Princesses Khorovod
  8. Infernal Dance of King Katschei
  9. Berceuse
  10. Finale

Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

It may seem amazing today that such a tuneful work as Petrushka was once thought fearfully dissonant', begin the notes to this new recording from Cincinnati; doubly so in the case of Järvi's interpretation, which somehow manages to make Petrushka (the 1947 version) feel more a part of mainstream classical music, and less a product of Russian folklore. It's balletic, it's beautifully played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Järvi brings a sense of objectivity to the performance - the feeling that we are actually watching a puppet show on stage in front of us, instead of being caught up in the drama ourselves. It's as though we can see the strings every time we choose to watch them being pulled; we're always aware of the puppet-master here, and there's no question that his puppets are always being manipulated for our entertainment, that they have no wills of their own. Perhaps that's what makes the ending more powerful, when Petrushka's ghost appears and mocks us on muted trumpet: maybe we were wrong? Maybe the puppet-master doesn't own his mannequins' souls.

Firebird (1919) doesn't have the visceral intensity and savage colour of some recent recordings, but instead Järvi and his Cincinnati players find a dreamy, other-worldly quality that's perfectly appropriate for this famous fairytale. Just when you're getting used to luxuriating in the sheer beauty of the score, Kastchei's Infernal Dance begins and nails you to your seat. The recording is a marvel, a Telarc classic: soft-grained and with a gentle ambient glow that bathes the whole soundstage, and yet every detail seems to be easily heard. And that bass drum; it sounds as if it's about three metres across, with a steam-hammer powering the stick...so well caught, it's as though the Telarc engineers have gone into Music Hall and found the perfect place for the bass drum in the acoustic, spent ages fiddling with microphones until the sound is spot on, and then assembled the rest of the band around it.

After the Infernal dance, the strings and mournful bassoon in the Berceuse are serenely, sadly beautiful, and the transition to the final celebratory dance is superbly handled; it unfolds as naturally as a spring bud, with none of the indecent haste you sometimes hear.

These aren't performances for someone who thinks that these fairy-tale ballets by Stravinsky need the intensity and violence of his Rite of Spring, but if for you there's something unreal about fairy-tales, and there's a necessary artifice in a puppet-show, you'll be able to live with this recording...and dare I suggest, happily ever after? --Catherine Chambers

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thes two early ballets are superbly performed and recorded. One reviewer commented on the bass drum-wow! This recording can be highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A wonderful modern recording in superb HD sound.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCEPTIONAL Stravinsky 1 Dec. 2010
By William D. Larson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I cannot believe that I am the first to review this CD. In a word: Get it. (OK, two words) I have loved "Petrouchka" since way, way back, and own and have owned many recordings of it. Such glorious music! But this recording blows me away. It's as if Jarvi was born with this music in his blood--he finds music here where other interpreters find only notes. So many exquisite details, never heard before by me, and yet with no loss whatsoever of over-all structure and line. (My own local big orchestra conductor, Osmo Vanska, at times gets lost in the details, and I can see how that can occur when details are brought into focus, but Jarvi here never falls into that trap.) Propulsiveness, nuances: It jumps, it soars. Also superb recorded sound, as we all expect from Telarc. I also like this "Firebird" suite, and I'm also a big lover of that music. And to top it all off, the bonbon of "Scherzo a la Russe": four minutes of sheer delight with so many echoes of "Petrouchka". For me, who has "heard it all" with this music, this recording is a revelation. Two words: Get it.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good version of the Firebird 14 Nov. 2013
By W. Starkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Rated very high for the sound quality. I agree. Too bad Telarc quit doing CD's. I once owned a Firebird.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 24 Aug. 2015
By Paul Cragin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A very fine but not as scintillating as some I've heard.
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