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Olga Trifonova, soprano
Robert Tear, tenor
Pippa Longworth, soprano
Paul Whelan, bass-baritone
Stephen Richardson, bass
Andrew Greenan, baritone
Sally Burgess, alto
Peter Hall, tenor
Simon Preece, bass

London Voices
Philharmonia Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Robert Craft, conductor

In 1968, Stravinsky wrote of the première of The Rite of Spring: "May whoever listens to this music never experience the insult to which it was subjected and of which I was the witness in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, Spring 1913".

Written for a huge orchestra to a setting of scenes from pagan Russia, this elemental ballet with its vaulting, violent energy and assymetrical rhythms almost from beginning to end, has become a major landmark of 20th century music.

Stravinsky’s orchestral palette, different and distinctive in every work, is never more exotically colourful than in his one act opera The Nightingale, which is a virtual catalogue of avian imitations.

"One of the confounding things about classical music is choosing from dozens (sometimes hundreds) of recordings of the same piece. I haven't heard every CD of Igor Stravinsky's jolting symphonic masterpiece, The Rite of Spring (1911–13), but I've sorted through enough of them to recommend Robert Craft's Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring/The Nightingale (Naxos) as an almost unsurpassable choice. . . . The Naxos disc has superb sonics, surpassing Craft's admirable 1991 recording on MusicMasters for clarity, depth, and overall punch. Rowdy sections such as "Ritual of the Rival Tribes," "Dance of the Earth," and the apocalyptic "Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)" boom with big, broad-shouldered bass drum licks and pounding timpani."
Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger (Seattle, WA), October 27, 2005

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