Antal Dorati Stravinsky Ballets 180G 3LP
Three famous and famous-sounding ballets by Stravinsky, all conducted by
Antal Dorati - packaged together by Speakers Corner. Includes slip case and
deluxe 12 page booklet.
"There's plenty of depth and imaging is naturally specific. instrumental timbres are richly characterized; violins are silky and the celesta sparkles. All three LPs have more timbral refinement and dimensionality than the excellent early 90s CD reissues." - Andy Quint, The Absolute Sound, October 2008, Issue 185
London Symphony Orchestra
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati, conductor
• 3LP set
• 180g Vinyl
• Includes slip case & deluxe 12-page booklet
TAS Rated 3/5 Music, 3/5 Sonics in the October 2008 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka/Antal Dorati/The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Petrochka was born of Stravinsky’s vision of a long-haired musician hammering
indiscriminately at the piano keys and engaging in a furious contest with the
orchestra which answers with vehement protests and acoustic fisticuffs. As was
the case with The Rite of Spring and The Firebird, Sergei Diaghilev and his
Russian ballet had their share in ensuring that the “burlesque” in four scenes
would be suitable for the stage.
The clown-doll Petrouchka revels in his spiteful teasing and pranks at the
Shrovetide fair. The orchestra contributes swirling dance figures, blaring brass
and scurrying strings to his high-spirited clownery – but then the Moor enters
and dances with the Ballerina, arousing jealousy in Petrouchka. Although the
clown-doll does not survive this bitter-sweet story, he triumphs at the end, his
ghost mocking the crowd at the fair.
This highly inventive music combines folksong, popular music and the waltz, all
bound together by exhilarating rhythms which are often taken to thunderous
extremes. With its outstanding sound, this recording is a must-have in any
TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sonics in the October 2008 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird/Antal Dorati/The London Symphony Orchestra
The Firebird can almost be described as a work of fate, since it is not only the
first of several ballets that Stravinsky wrote for Sergei Diaghilev and his
Ballets Russes but also marks his international breakthrough as a composer. In
comparison with his other earlier stage works, the ecstatic, sharply contoured
Rite of Spring for example, The Firebird, with its melodic character, is a far
gentler work altogether. There are unmistakable reminiscences of the musical
language of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky as well as snatches of late-Romantic
harmonies; all this lends the music the charm of Russian tradition.
In his performance, Dorati chooses the golden mean in that he has his ensemble
produce a highly colorful but by no means glaring sound. Thus the listener is
given the opportunity to follow the development of the finely chiseled motifs
which are so characteristic of this early composition. Happily, the
chamber-music-like transparency is preserved even in the loud, more exposed
passages – the sound leaves the loudspeakers with a sprightly, athletic tread,
as it were.
TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the October 2008 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring/Antal Dorati/The Minneapolis Symphony
While he was finishing the score of The Firebird, the idea came to Stravinsky
for a pagan, ritual scenario. The background history of Le Sacre du printemps is
well known: while the modernists praised the work, the conservative public
thought they were being hoaxed. The reason for their irritation and the
scandalous fiasco of the premiere is still audible to this day. Stravinsky
carries the aggressive, hammering rhythms to the extreme, casting them in atonal
harmonies which feed on the alternation between a red-hot and a mild mixture, as
Stravinsky put it.
Dorati urges on his ensemble with robust tempi, and the orchestra is quick to
respond to all the refinements of the tightly knit movement. It appears to cope
effortlessly with the extremes of contrast and manages to amalgamate the
rhythmic excesses with the tenderness of the numerous tiny motifs and figures
which seem to sprout like flowers out of hard rock. The excellent recording
technique captures both the extreme loudness and the finely pulsating tones,
resulting in a sound in which no detail goes unheard. The listener can be sure
that this Stravinsky deserves the rating "excellent" – both for the
interpretation and for the sound.