Stravinsky - Les Noces / Renard / Ragtime For Eleven Instruments on 180g Import LP
Although ten years separate the gigantic composition Le Sacre du Printemps and the dance cantata Les Noces, the more recent work has several things in common with its scandalous predecessor. Originally Igor Stravinsky planned to use a vast orchestra of 150 musicians, but decided after numerous attempts to settle for four pianos, percussion, voices and mixed chorus.
Concealed behind the innocuous title is not a peasant wedding but once again an archaic ritual, which takes possession of several of the central figures, drives them on and eventually crushes them with its unrelenting movement. Ballet, rhythmic dance through and through, fuses with Russian melodic song and thereby exudes a folkloristic exoticism. Rarely performed yet zestful and a sheer delight for the ears is the burlesque tale Renard, a musical fable about Reynard the crafty Fox.
Stravinsky himself conducted this recording made with a grand line-up of America's top composers at the piano keyboard – Samuel Barber, Lukas Foss, Aaron Copland and Roger Sessions. One certainly can't ask for more authenticity on record than these contemporary witnesses.
Igor Stravinsky (composer/conductor)
Samuel Barber (piano)
Aaron Copland (piano)
Lukas Foss (piano)
Roger Sessions (piano)
Mildred Allen (soprano)
Regina Sarfaty (mezzo soprano)
Loren Driscoll (tenor)
Robert Oliver (bass)
The American Concert Choir
The Columbia Chamber Ensemble