Stravinsky on my mind & Musical forces of nature May 27 by Bill Dodd in Dodd's DSD Discoveries, Music Reviews

I’ve got Stravinsky on my mind— No, hold on, I’m not talking about my 25th recording of Le Sacre. Here’s some different Stravinsky to enjoy:

Philippe Herreweghe is largely thought of as a conductor of Baroque music, especially Bach. He has however branched out to record other more modern composers– Mahler, Dvorak, and even Stravinsky. Included here are Stravinsky’s recomposing of works by Gesualdo and Bach, along with with his own Mass and Symphony of Psalms. The Mass and the Symphony are familiar to me as conducted by Stravinsky himself, but Herreweghe and the Royal Flemish Harmonic shine some new light on these. He uses a smaller chorus than usual, and the resulting clarity complements Herreweghe’s dynamic viewpoint. A good set for people who don’t think they like Stravinsky.

Next, Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra, and pianist Denis Matsuev puts a lot of energy into Stravinsky’s delightful Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, Shchedrin’s 1966 Piano Concerto no. 2, and Rachmaniov’s Piano Concerto no. 1. Matsuev may have the fastest fingers on the planet, but the clarity is still there. The Rachmaniov is certainly familiar to most of us, and the Shchedrin is a wonderful discovery on its own, but I really like the way these forces do the Stravinsky. Take a listen:

I love Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and the late 50’s recording by Pierre Monteux in Boston is etched on my heart and brain. I’m sure you have a favorite as well. But here is one played by the 17 players of the Inscape Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Scerbo which is delightfully different! The arrangement for chamber orchestra is by David Plylar. It may not replace your favorite original Petrushka, but it will let you hear new things every time you listen.

(note: This album is only available as a DSD Download to listeners in the USA due to licensing restrictions.)

Finally: Don’t forget this excellent solo piano performance of 3 Movements from Petrushka by Hyperion Knight— you also get a dynamite “Waldstein” Sonata! What more could you want!

Bill Dodd

Bill Dodd

Bill Dodd is a retired radio broadcaster who was born and raised near San Francisco, but now lives in the USA’s Pacific Northwest. “Discovery is important to me. Along with finding an exciting new viewpoint of a favorite work, I really love discovering music and composers I haven’t heard before, or haven’t been able to get close to in the past.”

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