Robert Craft

Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat (Suite); Renard

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Previously released by Music Masters and Koch International, the performances on this 2007 Naxos compilation are serviceable presentations of several of Igor Stravinsky's short works, worth having because a number of these are fairly obscure pieces, seldom recorded. While the suite from Histoire du Soldat (1918) and the burlesque Renard (1916) are the two most significant offerings here, and recorded more frequently than the other selections, such instrumental miniatures as the Pastorale (1924), the Three Pieces for clarinet (1918), and the Scherzo à la Russe (1944, in its original version for jazz band) help fill in gaps between Stravinsky's major works; and vocal gems such as "Pribaoutki" (1914), "Berceuses du Chat" (1915), the "Two Balmont Songs" (1911), and the "Three Japanese Lyrics" (1913) give clear examples of the composer's idiosyncratic approaches to text setting. One problem with this collection is its unavoidable unevenness, due to its ever-changing instrumentation, sudden shifts of moods and styles, and variability of sound quality from track to track. The performances, led by Robert Craft, are respectable efforts, though none are really outstanding for brilliant playing or definitive interpretations; and the album itself seems rather like an appendix. Recorded between 1991 and 2001 in various venues, the reproduction is decent and fully audible throughout, though some volume adjustments may be necessary, particularly at the end with the somewhat booming rendition of the "Song of the Volga Boatmen" (1917).

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
3:17 Amazon
L' histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale), concert suite for 7 instruments
2
1:29 Amazon
3
2:33 Amazon
4
2:45 Amazon
5
2:34 Amazon
6
2:53 Amazon
7
6:06 Amazon
8
1:19 Amazon
9
2:38 Amazon
10
2:11 Amazon
Pieces (3) for solo clarinet
11
1:48
12
1:01
13
1:04 Amazon
14
0:32 Amazon
Pribaoutki (4), song cycle for voice & 8 instruments or piano
15
0:57 Amazon
16
0:25 Amazon
17
0:47 Amazon
18
1:49 Amazon
Berceuses du Chat (4), song cycle for voice & 3 clarinets or piano
19
0:46 Amazon
20
0:59 Amazon
21
1:10 Amazon
22
0:50 Amazon
23
17:31 Amazon
Poems of Balmont (2), for voice & chamber orchestra
24
1:18 Amazon
25
1:50 Amazon
Japanese Lyrics (3), song cycle for voice & piano (or chamber orchestra)
26
0:49 Amazon
27
1:05 Amazon
28
1:52 Amazon
29
3:37 Amazon
30
1:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick