Since the centennial of Le Sacre du printemps in 2013, there have been multiple recordings of Igor Stravinsky's versions for piano, four hands, and for orchestra, though they are usually one or the other. This hybrid SACD from the audiophile label Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm offers both, first the keyboard arrangement, played by the Piano Duo Trenkner-Speidel, followed by the orchestral score, performed by Stefan Blunier and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. The side-by-side placement certainly shows what a tour de force Le Sacre du printemps is in either version, and it allows close comparisons. Yet while Evelinde Trenkner and Sontraud Speidel play with energy and general accuracy, they are a little loose in tempo and seem to wait for each other's cues to coordinate the pacing. This is not a problem in the Blunier performance, which is quite tight and unified in effect, and decidedly more exciting for its incisive rhythms, multilayered textures, and shattering impact. MDG's unprocessed recording brings out the tone colors, details, and dimensions of the orchestral version, making it the superior recording of the two.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Le Sacre du Printemps, Version for Piano 4 Hands|
|Le Sacre du Printemps, Version for Orchestra|