For this all-Stravinsky album, Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra present Le Sacre du printemps, along with the suite from L'oiseau de feu, the Scherzo à la Russe, and the orchestral version of the Tango. Naturally, the main draw is Le Sacre, and the quality of the performance is everything to the success of this 2012 SACD release on Channel Classics. Fortunately for fans of this revolutionary ballet and audiophiles who relish Stravinsky's innovative orchestration, this rendition is a sonic treat filled with remarkable details and breathtaking sonorities, and propelled with enough energy to make it viscerally exciting. Fischer tends to take the slow sections a bit too languidly, in part to create a great feeling of weight, but also to let the multilayered counterpoint and complex harmonies be heard clearly. But the music is astonishingly fast where it needs to be, the explosions in the percussion are as dynamic and loud as any ever recorded, and the Danse sacrale is wonderfully violent. The performances of L'oiseau de feu, the Scherzo, and the Tango are enjoyable and good to have as filler, but the listener may well take a rest after hearing Le Sacre because Fischer and the orchestra give it everything they have. The sound of this recording is impressively deep and spacious, and virtually everything is audible, even in the softest passages.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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