First released on MusicMasters and Koch International Classics in the
'90s, Robert Craft's Stravinsky recordings remain the preferred modern editions of the music. Not only was Craft Stravinsky's musical amanuensis for the last 20 years of his life, he later became a superb conductor in his own right and the combination in his mentor's music is unbeatable. In this 1995 recording of the 1947 version Le Sacre du printemps with the London Symphony, Craft turns in a performance more about rhythm than harmony and more about mass than color, but a performance that nevertheless captures the work's barbaric musical aesthetic. In this 1997 recording of the one-act opera Le Rossignol with the Philharmonia, Craft creates one of the few truly successful performances of the work, one that captures both the sumptuous sensuality of its opening scene and the edgy angularity of its closing scene. Craft also has the advantage of tremendous singers on his side: tenor Robert Tear as the Fisherman, bass-baritone Paul Whelan as the Emperor of China, and especially soprano altissimo Olga Trifonova as the Nightingale. With staggering sound plus Craft's lucid notes and a complete libretto, this release is another superb addition to Naxos' reissues of Craft's Stravinsky recordings.