Stravinsky: Petrushka; The Rite of Spring; Fireworks

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COMPOSERS: Stravinsky
LABELS: RCA Red Seal High Performance
WORKS: Petrushka; The Rite of Spring; Fireworks
PERFORMER: Boston SO, Chicago SO/Seiji Ozawa
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 63311 2 ADD Reissue (1968, 1969)
In much larger type than the names of either pieces or performers, this CD bears the legend ‘High Performance’, as if your car engine might operate more efficiently if you popped one inside. A sleevenote explains that the boffins have discovered a way of capturing on a CD a greater dynamic range and a clearer sound. Meanwhile, Seiji Ozawa and his players – the characteristically faultless Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras – step out of the past (1968-9), seemingly neither aided nor hindered by science, to deliver blistering performances of some seminal Stravinsky scores. This is of course to offer a sideways compliment to the engineers; but they cannot put in what musicians leave out and fine playing and youthful, energising conducting should be your reason for buying this disc, not the desire to be in at the start of a sonic revolution. The youthful, octogenarian Stravinsky is the benchmark. Christopher Wood

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