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Stravinsky: Orpheus; Jeu de cartes; Agon

Album Summary

>Stravinsky, Igor : Jeu de cartes
>Stravinsky, Igor : Agon, ballet for 12 dancers & orchestra
>Stravinsky, Igor : Orpheus, ballet in 3 scenes for orchestra
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Stravinsky's ballet music contains some of the composer's most dazzling inspirations, and his work with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes brought him to international attention before the first world war. But it was through his collaborations with Diaghilev's protege George Balanchine that Stravinsky evolved the individual 'neo-classical' style of his own that is arguably his greatest contribution to the musical language of the twentieth century. Contemporary audiences were thrilled by the innovative nature of these works.

'Virile, cogent performances from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov ... Crisply sculpted and propulsive, the rhythmic sleights of hand diamond-sharp, the instrumental colours bold, the impact exhilarating' (Gramophone)

'This is a fine new Stravinsky disc from the excellent partnership of Ilan Volkov and the BBC SSO ... It's an account that is similar in many ways to Stravinsky's own Sony Classical recording, but obviously in better sound. Volkov and his players seem to perform the work with even greater confidence and joie de vivre ... The notes are by Stephen Walsh and are a model of clarity and conciseness, allied to deep understanding of the music. With such purposeful, sensitive conducting and such assured playing, this can be very warmly recommended' (International Record Review)

'Ilan Volkov shows tremendous empathy for Stravinsky's music. With the aid of meticulous playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, he delivers performances that project vibrant rhythmic urgency alongside a wonderful attention to internal detail and a subtle control of instrumental colour ... [Jeu de Cartes] In comparison, Robert Craft and the LSO on the Naxos label sound surprisingly flaccid and lacking in youthful energy' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Both works suit Volkov's sinewy, precise style down to the ground, and are quite thrillingly played' (The Guardian)

'The playing of the BBC Scottish SO under Volkov is so incisive and richly coloured ... The whole disc, devoted to three Balanchine ballet scores composed over a period of 20 years, and embracing a wide variety of styles yet always quintessentially Stravinskian, is a joy to listen to' (Sunday Times)

'This is an inspired, and brilliantly played, grouping ... The music is vibrant in a new way ... Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra recognise and trace this stylistic course with a sharp ear ... The sheer originality of all three ballets shows that Stravinsky's ability to catch the listener unawares did not stop with the Rite of Spring, and this superb disc is a revelatory testament to his daring' (Daily Telegraph)

'A supreme disc' (The Scotsman)

' ' Ilan Volkov] relishes the ballet scores of Stravinsky... . He elicits diaphanous, knife-like clarity from his BBC constituents (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Volkov explore[s] the subtle gradations of gray in Orpheus and, thanks to his rhythmic acuity, reveal[s] the dazzling counterpoint in Agon' (Philadelphia Enquirer, USA)



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Works Details

>Stravinsky, Igor : Jeu de cartes
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (12/13/2008-12/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1936

>Stravinsky, Igor : Agon, ballet for 12 dancers & orchestra
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (12/13/2008-12/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1953-1954

>Stravinsky, Igor : Orpheus, ballet in 3 scenes for orchestra
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1947.
  • Running Time: 9 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1947