These 2008 recordings of Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss and Scènes de Ballet with Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony are very nice but by no means great. Volkov, a talented and accomplished conductor, clearly has a feel for Stravinsky's music and his direction is crisp, tight, and tasteful. The Scottish orchestra is a more than capable ensemble with a strong string section, a characterful wind section, and a first-rate brass section, and their work is smooth, sleek, and professional. In neither piece, though, do the conductor and orchestra make the case for the music itself. The Fairy's Kiss, Stravinsky's reworking of songs and piano pieces by Tchaikovsky, can be quite beguiling, and his Scènes de Ballet, written for Broadway, can be thoroughly delightful. But here both pieces come off merely as well-conducted, well-performed exercises in modernism. Hyperion's digital recording of the BBC Scottish is warmer and richer than but not quite as bright as Chandos' digital recordings of the same orchestra.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|The Fairy's Kiss|
|Scènes de ballet|