Igor Markevitch was a celebrated young prodigy – Alfred Cortot discovered him at 13, Serge Diaghilev commissioned some music from him and he impressed Béla Bartók. He also received conducting lessons from Hermann Scherchen and became a brilliant and demanding conductor. He had then come to the attention of Walter Legge, who engaged him to conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra. His stereo version of Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps recorded in 1959 – different from the mono version done in 1951 with the same orchestra - manages to combine tight precision with the vital element of spontaneous surprise and highlights the intensity, the color and the rhythmic power of the playing. A landmark recording!
Igor Stravinsky, composer
Igor Markevitch, conductor