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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  477 619-8
  Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring - Esa-Pekka Salonen
  Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1947 version), Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain (original version), Bartok: Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recording: Los Angeles (Walt Disney Concert Hall), 01/2006
Producer: Valérie Gross
Project Coordinator: Matthias Spindler
Recording Producer: Sid McLauchlan
Tonmeister (Balance Engineer): Rainer Maillard
Recording Engineer: Fred Vogler

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 6 show all

Site review by Polly Nomial September 16, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by Ivymike February 14, 2007 (8 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I'm quite disappointed with this release. I'm a big fan of all three featured works, particularly the Bartok and Stravinsky; I own a half-dozen recordings of the full-length "Mandarin" and about forty versions of "Rite." This disc falls very near or at the bottom of both preferred lists.

Other posted reviews have described both as sounding too smoothed-over, too rehearsed. I fully concur. "Emasculated" might be too harsh a term to use but it frankly comes close. There is little sense of sheer menace, of danger, which both works so desperately require.

I've heard more involving sound from analogue sources pushing five decades old. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is I don't like about the sound, but for all its smoothness it sounds...fake, to glossy, to engineered. There is plenty of ambience, but little air. How did the engineers manage this? I don't know, unless a heavy hand was used with recording gee-whiz stuff. It's rather confounding. The bass drum is way over the top in a most unnatural way; I appreciate deep, powerful bass but this is just too much.

The most interesting thing on this disc is "Night." Different, unusual. I don't prefer it to the Ravel orchestration, but I'm glad to have experienced it.

I regret having made this purchase. I would recommend sticking with better performances of the Bartok and Stravinsky. For the former, try Abaddo on DG or Boulez on Sony; for the latter, Markevitch on Testament or Simon Rattle on EMI or Bernstein's 1958 version on Sony.

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Review by Oscar January 16, 2007 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is a fabulous disc !.

The LAPO sounds in glorious form, with a well integrated sound, and, at the same time each family, or group, of instruments having a distinct personality. Salonen brings all this together, in all 3 works contained in the disc, in a most succesfull way.
The Mussorgsky piece is done in it´s original version, which is welcome, since it is not widely available. It contains extraorinary passages, years ahead of the time in which it was composed, undelining the composers avant-gardism. Salonen paints the music with a fine brush, delivering a very detailed interpretation.
It is a pity that Bartok´s piece is not done complete, so we must be happy with the suite, which sounds glorious, in a very athmospheric reading.
And the Rite of Spring, as it is known, is one of the favorite pieces of Salonen, and it shows. The piece still sound so modern, and yet contains so many passages that call for a gentler sound. The Conductor directs with great clarity and metronomic precission, two qualities absolutely essential for this piece.
The recording has great clarity and a very "warm" sound, the orchestra is heard to great effect and detail which benefits the interpretations of Salonen.

A Must !.

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Works: 3  

Béla Bartók - The Miraculous Mandarin (Suite), Sz. 73 BB 82
Modest Mussorgsky - A Night on the Bare Mountain
Igor Stravinsky - Le sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) (1913, rev. 1947/67)