Stravinsky - Le Sacre du printemps, Petrushka | Australian Eloquence ELQ4823444

Stravinsky - Le Sacre du printemps, Petrushka

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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4823444

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Ballet

Release Date: 11th November 2016

Contents

Artists

London Philharmonic Orchestra
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Thomas Rajna (piano)

Conductor

Erich Leinsdorf

Works

Stravinsky, Igor

Petrushka (1911 version)
The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps)

Artists

London Philharmonic Orchestra
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Thomas Rajna (piano)

Conductor

Erich Leinsdorf

About

Stravinsky began work on Petrushka in the summer of 1910, shortly after the successful premičre of his first ballet, The Firebird. Like The Firebird, and The Rite of Spring which came later, Petrushka was written for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The choreographer was Mikhail Fokine, and the title role was danced by the mercurial Vaslav Nijinsky.

Nijinsky was also involved with the production of The Rite, but as the choreographer rather than dancer. The choreography, in keeping with the ballet’s subject matter and the composer’s use of dissonance and complex rhythms, made a complete break with tradition. Looking back on the tumultuous premičre, Stravinsky described the curtain as rising on ‘rows of knock-kneed Lolitas’. The first performance, which took place on 29 May 1913, was of course one of the most famous scandals in musical history.

Both of the Stravinsky ballet scores here recorded by Erich Leinsdorf in the 1970s were released on Decca’s then super-sonic Phase 4 imprint. Decca’s lurid cover for Petrushka caused a stir and is reproduced here on this Eloquence reissue – the first release on Decca CD. Thomas Rajna, solo pianist for the Petrushka recordings, has contributed his own reminiscences for this release.

‘always interesting, sympathetic and never forced […] and an excellent contribution from Thomas Rajna at the piano’ - (Petrushka) Gramophone, March 1971

‘by no means inconsiderable as a performance, and often very clearly recorded’ - (Le Sacre du printemps) Gramophone, October 1975

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