Neeme Järvi

Stravinsky: Jeu de cartes; Orpheus; Suite: The Soldier's Tale

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Originally recorded by Chandos in 1986 and 1991, then compiled for the subsidiary Enchant label in 1999, this Stravinsky album shows some signs of age. While the performances are still viable and enjoyable, the sound of this disc is problematic and raises more than a few suspicions of studio doctoring. Neeme Järvi leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in vivid readings of the neo-classical ballets Jeu de cartes and Orpheus, and as far as the music is rendered with skill, color, and energy, these performances are acceptable. However, an excessive amount of reverberation seems added to the recordings at a later stage, and the resultant aural sheen is distracting. Also, Stravinsky's characteristically dry timbres are prettified in the remastering, and this sonic sweetening dulls the biting sonorities of Jeu de cartes and makes Orpheus overly lush. Järvi directs members of the Scottish National Orchestra in the concert suite from L'histoire du soldat, and this fairly early digital recording seems the most enhanced. The work's sardonic edge is substantially minimized, and one might wish for a rawer performance with a few sound problems instead of this glossy recording, where Stravinsky's menacing music is made rather distant and less threatening through misguided engineering.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Jeu de cartes (Card Game), ballet in "three deals" for orchestra
1
0:41
2
0:49
3
1:37
4
1:06
5
1:12
6
7
1:45
8
2:41
9
0:38
10
0:46
11
0:30
12
2:38
13
14
2:19
15
1:43
16
3:02
Orpheus, ballet in 3 scenes for orchestra
17
2:21
18
3:00
19
2:16
20
2:04
21
2:48
22
2:36
23
24
0:45
25
1:57
26
6:15
27
1:01
28
2:22
29
2:57
L' histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale), concert suite for 7 instruments
30
1:36
31
2:30
32
3:05
33
2:35
34
2:53
35
2:18
36
1:50
37
2:07
38
1:18
39
3:14
40
2:10
blue highlight denotes track pick