Tugan Sokhiev and the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse celebrate the centennial of Igor Stravinsky's 1913 masterpiece, The Rite of Spring, with this deluxe package from Naïve. The CD contains the suite from The Firebird, as well as a full-length performance of The Rite, along with a DVD, presented in a book filled with historical background notes and stylish illustrations. Because the playing of both pieces is first-rate and deserving of state-of-the-art recording, one might wish that a multichannel super audio CD had been produced, to capture all the details, the rich timbres, and the full range of dynamics. Considering the care and effort that went into the recording, that extra step wouldn't have been too much of a stretch. The orchestra effortlessly creates the lush sonorities and atmospheric effects in The Firebird, and this is a seductive introductory offering. The best playing, though, is saved for The Rite, which abounds with vivid colors and exciting rhythms, and Sokhiev works the musicians up into a frenzy that's almost shocking. This would easily be one of the most desirable versions of The Rite of Spring if it existed in the SACD format, but as it is, it is still one of the most compelling performances available and well worth having on CD.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|L'Oiseau de Feu|
|Le Sacre du Printemps|