Everything Stravinsky, On Sale

When I showed this to daughter C., she accused me of stealing from Amazon.

Works of Igor Stravinsky” came up as one of Amazon’s recommendations the other day. It’s a re-issue of an earlier (and very expensive) box set, comprising almost all of Stravinsky’s recordings he made for Columbia from 1934 to 1969. “Almost” because I notice that the “Fanfare for a New Theater” is missing, all 30 seconds of it. These are performances played by, conducted by, or supervised by IS himself.

But other than that, it’s hard to figure out what’s missing. It has the full-length Firebird and Petrouchka, but also the later suites. Both versions of Pulcinella, too. The original had three vocal parts, and as far as I can tell it hasn’t been available in the CD era. It has some beautiful moments that were omitted from the instrumental suite. Here’s one:

All the ballets, all the concerti, all the chamber music and vocal works, the symphonies. 22 discs in all. Amazon’s price? If you clicked the link you already know: $44.98.

Works of Igor Stravinsky

I kept expecting, through the checkout process, to find a “1” added on to the front.

A lot of these performances, as I mentioned before, haven’t been available in some time. For example, “The Flood” has been re-recorded, but this CBS television performance with Laurence Harvey, Sebastien Cabot and Elsa Lanchester doing the speaking parts has been out of print forever. Or the stately and austere “Threni.” And too many others to list.

“Orpheus” is a work I’m constantly trying to get programmed with the groups I play in. The Chicago Symphony performance has also been unavailable. Here’s the opening scene of the Ballet, Orpheus playing his lyre, mourning Eurydice.

The comments on Amazon include many that bemoan the lack of libretti. True; it would be good to have, though I imagine you can get most of them online with a little Googling. Such notes as there are include performers, dates, locations. They are unfortunately printed in a very condensed font, in reverse type.

At a little over $2 per disc, you can spend almost as much on blank CDs, which is rather crazy. Grab this one while you can.

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he's also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

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