ORFEO International – Catalogue


C 804 101 A

Igor Strawinsky

Orfeo • 1 CD • 69min

Order No.: C 804 101 A

Audio Classik-CD des Monats
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste
Diapason d
Echo Klassik 2010


I. Strawinsky: The Firebird for Orchestra (ballet music)
I. Strawinsky: Psalm Symphony for Choir and Orchestra


City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus (Chor)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Orchester)
Andris Nelsons (Dirigent)

Andris Nelsons - Igor Stravinsky

After their CD of Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky is the next great composer of the 20th century to feature in a recording of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under its music director Andris Nelsons. C 804 101 A
C 804 101 A
On this, their third CD with Orfeo, we can hear the attractive contrasts of the composer’s chameleon-like transformations. Stravinsky the youthful avantgardist on his way to world fame is represented by the complete music to the Firebird ballet, while the Symphony of Psalms is a testament to the mature composer at the age of nearly fifty. Nelsons and the CBSO leave us not a moment of doubt that even at the age of 27, Stravinsky could draw on an embarrassment of compositional riches. There is the boldness and the precision of his rhythms, while his rich, varied harmonies and his inspired melodies betray an aesthetic that is still far from anti-Romantic. Andris Nelsons and the CBSO also unfold brilliantly before us the work’s masterful orchestration. As the music sweeps us along, it lets us follow clearly the characters and their dramatic situations. The sparks fly in the strings and woodwind when the Firebird dances, while in the scenes of the Prince and Princess they caress the ear like velvet. And the throbbing, threatening clangour of the brass conjures up the world of the evil sorcerer – though he has already made his presence known in the percussion section, with echoes of the music of the “Mighty Handful” of which Rimski-Korsakow once formed the vanguard. Andris Nelsons
Andris Nelsons
Foto: Marko Borggreve
These colourful riches are here juxtaposed with Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, with all its Orthodox austerity, its reduced textures and angular contours. The CBSO Chorus was trained by Simon Halsey, who has also worked successfully with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. The Chorus here offers a congenial interpretation in which a high degree of precision in both dynamics and intonation allows the Latin psalms to gain in atmospheric density and tension. This is perhaps the most significant common ground between the Symphony and the Firebird. This performance of the Symphony will captivate the listener from the beginning through to the final cadence of “Laudate Dominum”.

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