Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Stravinsky: Firebird; Rite of Spring

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AllMusic Review by

Russian conductor Yuri Simonov recorded Le Sacre du printemps and the suite from L'Oiseau de feu with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993, and these extremely vivid performances appeared on this budget release from Intersound as well as on a German audiophile release on the RPO label. The driven performance of Le Sacre du printemps has great clarity, crisp textures, dynamic rhythms, and vibrant timbres, particularly from the lower woodwinds and brass; the percussion is wonderfully explosive in the powerful climaxes, which make this recording feel extraordinarily physical and will give the listener many thrills. Somewhat disappointingly, Simonov's recording of L'Oiseau de feu is less invigorating and less captivating than Le Sacre, mostly due to his overly languid tempos and tendency to draw out the most lyrical sections. Yet it has much the same attention to detail and clear definition of instrumental colors, and the RPO sounds lush and shimmering in passages with exquisite orchestration. The sound quality of this CD is truly remarkable for a budget disc and the engineering is exceptional.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra
1
3:40
2
3:27
3
1:17
4
3:23
5
1:56
6
0:45
7
8
1:16
9
4:24
10
3:23
11
1:34
12
0:51
13
3:38
14
4:48
L' oiseau de feu (The Firebird), ballet suite for orchestra
15
4:00
16
17
1:21
18
19
4:08
20
21
2:35
22
6:11
23
4:42
24
3:41
25
3:38
blue highlight denotes track pick