Charles Dutoit / Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

Stravinsky

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AllMusic Review by

Charles Dutoit and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra made these recordings of music by Igor Stravinsky between 1984 and 1992, in the early years of digital reproduction. Thanks to splendid playing, brilliant engineering, and excellent acoustics, the recordings sound exceptional for their time, completely free of the shallow and cold tone of many CDs of the era, and they are still competitive among later audiophile releases. Dutoit specialized in 20th century music, and his Stravinsky was praised for being especially responsive to the music's needs. This is why his recording of L'oiseau de feu can sound so lush and rich with impressionistic sonorities, while his account of Apollon musagète is as austere and sober as this neo-Classical ballet demands. In between these two works is almost the full range of Stravinsky's varied styles and expressions, except for the absence of his religious music and the lack of his late twelve-tone works. For anyone starting to appreciate Stravinsky, knowing the early ballets -- L'oiseau de feu, Petrushka, and Le Sacre du printemps -- is de rigueur, and Dutoit's renditions are superb. The other early works, such as Feu d'artifice, Scherzo fantastique, and Chant du rossignol, round out the portrait of the young Stravinsky, and the Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Four Etudes provide a transition to the middle neo-Classical period. This is amply represented on the fourth CD, which presents the Concerto in E flat major, "Dumbarton Oaks," the Danses concertantes, the Concerto in D, and Apollon musagète. The dry, "objective" tone Stravinsky favored in this style is accurately rendered in these crisp performances with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, and Dutoit's interpretations are idiomatic and exciting.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
L'Oiseau de feu (1911 version)
1 2:43
2 1:50
3 2:14
4 1:24
5 0:51
6 7:51
7 2:29
8 1:30
9 4:41
10 1:29
11 5:14
12 0:47
13 4:40
14 5:35
15 3:21
16 12:08
17 3:55

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto in E flat 'Dumbarton Oaks'
1 4:56
2 4:30
3 5:34
Danse concertantes
4 1:50
5 3:29
6 8:06
7 5:22
8 0:59
Concerto in D
9 5:45
10 2:55
11 3:31
Apollon musagète (1947 version)
12 5:04
13 3:00
14 5:01
15 1:32
16 1:22
17 1:40
18 2:29
19 4:03
20 3:14
21 3:53
blue highlight denotes track pick