13 August 2009

Disc 2 - Ballets vol 2

I'm blogging this one because The Rite of Spring's about to be performed on BBC4 live from the Proms.

On this disc it's performed by the Columbia SO under Stravinsky. The tracks are as follows:
Part 1: The adoration of the earth
16: Introduction (lento) 2:58
17: The Augurs of Spring (dance of the young girls) 3:04
18: Mock abduction 1:17
19: Spring round dances 3:05
20: Games of the rival tribes 2:00
21: Procession of the wise elder 0:42
22: Adoration of the earth (the wise elder) 0:25
23: Dance of the earth 1:15

Part 2: The sacrifice
24: Introduction (largo) 3:42
25: Mystical circles of the young girls 2:52
26: Glorification of the chosen victim 1:27
27: Summoning of the ancestors 0:44
28: Ritual of the ancestors 3:18
29: Sacrificial dance (the chosen victim) 4:35

Having typed all that out, it's struck me how spasmodic it is - how the sections are all short, some very short. On the prom discussion, a dancer talked about the extreme demands the last section makes of the dancer, so maybe that's why. On the other hand, they were discussing that maybe the music is actually not good for ballet - it's too predominant - and that's why we now know it as a concert work.

Anyway, it's a work I can listen to over and over. Although I know it really well, it never fails to impress with the variety of mood and music. And it's a work I heard at the Proms, one of the two times I attended, back in the 20th century. It proved to me that a live orchestra at full tilt is like nothing else on earth.

In many ways, this was a key work in developing my love of classical music. I came to classical music through dissonance and discord and thumping syncopated rhythm. That may be why I find Brahms so uninteresting. I'd like to think that this work could turn any open-eared music fan, but I suspect that's not true. Maybe the effect is just too strong.

3/9/09 The disc begins, however, with a recording of Petrushka made by the Columbia SO also in 1960. This is the 1911 version; the wikipedia article has details on the differences between this and the 1947 revision.

Here are the tracks:

Part I: The Shrovetide Fair

* Introduction (at the Shrovetide Fair)
* The Charlatan's Booth
* Russian Dance

Part II: Petrushka's Cell

* Petrushka's Cell

Part III: The Moor's Room

* The Moor's Room
* Dance of the Ballerina
* Waltz - The Ballerina & the Moor

Part IV: The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)

* Dance of the Wet Nurses
* Peasant With Bear
* The Jovial Merchant with Two Gypsy Girls
* Dance of the Coachmen and Grooms
* The Masqueraders
* The Fight - The Moor and Petrushka
* Death of Petrushka
* Apparition of Petrushka's Double.