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Tilson Thomas: Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring, The Firebird Suite (FLAC)

Tilson Thomas: Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring, The Firebird Suite (FLAC)

Tilson Thomas: Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring, The Firebird Suite (FLAC)

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: SFS Media
Catalogue: SFS0032
Release: 2010
Size: 182 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

The Firebird Suite
01. King Kashchei’s Infernal Dance
02. Lullaby
03. Finale

The Rite of Spring
Part 1
04. Adoration of the Earth. Introduction
05. Adoration of the Earth. The Augurs of Spring / Dances of the Adolescent Girls
06. Adoration of the Earth. Game of Abduction
07. Adoration of the Earth. Spring Rounds
08. Adoration of the Earth. Games of Rival Tribes
09. Adoration of the Earth. Procession of the Sage
10. Adoration of the Earth. The Sage
11. Adoration of the Earth. Dance of the Earth

Part 2
12. The Sacrifice. Introduction
13. The Sacrifice. Mystic Circles of the Young Girls
14. The Sacrifice. Glorification of the Chose One
15. The Sacrifice. Evocation of the Elders
16. The Sacrifice. Ritual Action of the Elders
17. The Sacrifice. Sacrificial Dance

Brilliantly played, efficiently conducted, and effectively recorded, these performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and selections from his Firebird Suite lack only one thing to make them successful: excitement. There’s nothing in these scores the San Francisco Symphony cannot execute, from the most challenging solo writing to the most difficult rhythms, and there’s nothing in them that Michael Tilson Thomas cannot masterfully direct, from the convoluted textures that open The Rite to the brutal polyrhythms that close it. But one wants more from a performance of these pieces than merely to be edified and enlightened; one wants to be thrilled, but there are no thrills here. The Firebird’s Infernal Dance is technically irreproachable but emotionally unapproachable, while The Rite’s Sacrificial Dance is technically immaculate but sensually impotent. It’s true that these pieces demand technical perfection and anything less than that (for example, Bernstein’s spectacularly inept recording of The Rite with the Israel Philharmonic), can only be regarded as a failure. But without excitement, even the most technically impressive performances are merely musical exercises.

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