Various Artists

Igor Stravinsky: A Portrait

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Since Naxos acquired a large number of Stravinsky recordings from Koch International Classics and MusicMasters, it's in a fine position to release two discs' worth of performances for this 2008 compilation, Igor Stravinsky: A Portrait, a survey that is quite representative of the composer's highly varied oeuvre. Ranging from The Firebird (1910) to the Requiem Canticles (1966), this compilation of excerpts crams in as much of Stravinsky's music as would make a worthwhile presentation, though without lingering too long over any single work. Newcomers should be aware that the selections are very short pieces or sections of much longer works, so if certain examples appeal, the full works are available on the label's multi-volume series or on many other recordings. One may actually choose to sample the pieces here first, but shop around for better recordings elsewhere, since the playing on these tracks is not always the most polished or attractive, despite the best intentions of the most represented conductor, Robert Craft, or the other musicians assembled here; however, the recording quality in most cases is fine to exceptional. The two discs are accompanied by a hefty booklet that provides ample biographical information, rarely seen photographs, and background for the works.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
L' oiseau de feu (The Firebird), ballet in 2 scenes for orchestra
1
2:32 Amazon
2
1:40
3
2:16 Amazon
4
1:20 Amazon
Petrushka, movements (3) for piano
5
2:19
6
4:38
Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra
7
3:32
8
3:14
9
1:22
10
3:11
11
1:52
12
0:40 Amazon
13
0:28
14
1:21
Pieces (3) for string quartet
15
0:55
16
2:15
Berceuses du Chat (4), song cycle for voice & 3 clarinets or piano
17
0:42
18
1:06
19
1:24
20
0:56
L' histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale), concert suite for 7 instruments
21
2:08
22
1:55
23
2:13
Les Noces I (The Wedding), ballet in 4 tableaux for vocal soloists, chorus & orchestra
24
10:10
Pulcinella, ballet with song in 1 act, for 3 vocal soloists & orchestra
25
2:57 Amazon
26
1:50 Amazon
27
1:12 Amazon
28
1:31 Amazon
29
1:50 Amazon
30
7:57
Sonata for piano
31
5:21
blue highlight denotes track pick