Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Firebird Suite; Scherzo, Tango / Ivan Fischer

Audio Samples

>Stravinsky, Igor : Le sacre du printemps
>Stravinsky, Igor : L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra no 2
>Stravinsky, Igor : Scherzo a la russe
>Stravinsky, Igor : Tango

Album Summary

>Stravinsky, Igor : Le sacre du printemps
>Stravinsky, Igor : L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra no 2
>Stravinsky, Igor : Scherzo a la russe
>Stravinsky, Igor : Tango
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The concept for The Rite of Spring originated with the Russian philosopher and painter Nicholas Roerich. Roerich shared his idea with Stravinsky in 1910 - a fleeting vision of a pagan ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death. The duo joined forces with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Stravinsky's composition began to take shape. Vaslav Nijinsky, the company's leading male dancer, conceived of a completely original dance style that was a radical departure from ballet of the time. The Rite of Spring's 1913 première created one of the most famous classical music riots in history. Its intensely rhythmic score, primitive scenery and radical choreography completely shocked the audience, who were accustomed to the elegant conventions of classical ballet. Almost 100 years later, The Rite of Spring still has the ability to shock - it still sounds fresh, pagan and new. On this Super Audio recording, Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra offer a powerful and intense performance that reveals the underlying simplicity that forms the foundation of the work.

"A fascinating chance to compare a composer's own interpretation with a brilliant newcomer. Ivan Fischer's new Rite of Spring is lean and hungry, razor-sharp and matches his description of it: "fresh, pagan, scary, new and beautiful"...Quite deliberate in places (Spring Rounds is surely too slow) it is full of piercing, unfamiliar detail and accumulates tremendous weight." -The Observer

Sunday Times
The Rite of Spring remains a seismic event in the history of music, still astounding in a performance as gripping and as powerful as this live account by Fischer's BFO. These Hungarians manage the remarkable feat of making this familiar music sound ever fresh and new - I love Fischer's chamber-music textures in Dances of the Adolescent Girls, and his Dance of the Earth sounds positively volcanic.

The Times
This is one of the earthiest, most pagan accounts of the ballet around. It's also one of the most carefully considered whenever Stravinsky writes in a slow tempo...Whenever the music jerks into high gear - the notes cascading, polyrhythms jabbing - the contrast is doubly thrilling.

BBC Music Magazine
Fischer and his Budapest forces possess the right ingredients: the orchestra is well drilled in an interpretation that's as straight as a Roman road; its strings are searing, and brass and wooodwind play in the clipped manner favoured by Stravinsky. In short, it's what the composer said he wanted from a performance of this music. The problem is that Stravinsky did not practise what he preached.

Gramophone Magazine
Fischer's The Rite of Spring is sensual and revealing...There's a elasticity to Fischer's conducting that keeps Stravinsky's score pliable...In a word, this is a 'musical' performance, one where every note seems an inevitable outgrowth of its predecessor. It's not the most viscerally exciting version on disc...[but it] avoids what Stravinsky himself labelled self-glorification.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Complementary releases here, rather than an either-or choice. The high point is Fischer's fierce, earthy, uninhibited Rite of Spring, brilliantly played by the orchestra and also well captured by Channel's engineers. Some conductors filter the Rite through a lens of later 20th Century music, including Stravinsky's later efforts, and try to make the music sound avant-garde. I wonder if the original audience in 1913 was more offended by the music's rhythmic ferocity than its modernity. From the first growl of the introduction, Fischer and his players give us the music straight, full of energy and often just a bit out of control. The resolution of the SACD sound is particularly welcome here, giving the orchestra a rich, warm sound that matches the vigorous but unforced interpretation.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Palace of Arts, Budapest (12/2010).



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Works Details

>Stravinsky, Igor : Le sacre du printemps
  • Conductor: Iván Fischer
  • Ensemble: Budapest Festival Orchestra
  • Running Time: 32 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1911-1913

>Stravinsky, Igor : L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra no 2
  • Conductor: Iván Fischer
  • Running Time: 20 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919

>Stravinsky, Igor : Scherzo à la russe
  • Conductor: Iván Fischer
  • Running Time: 3 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1945

>Stravinsky, Igor : Tango
  • Conductor: Iván Fischer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1940