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Friday, February 13, 2015

Number One for February 13, 2015

Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps as performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic


The famous January 20, 1958 recording which Sony Classical had kept slightly out of view for too long before giving it a classy reissue for the Rite's centenary in 2013. Ironically, I just got around to acquiring it while killing time at Newbury Comics, waiting for the ever more impatient rush hour crowds at the bus stop to thin out (and chill out) in our snow addled present state.

Bernstein leads a performance rich in both detail and abandon, one of his specialties and something the work itself demands. These qualities are also reflected in the recording. Recorded in the cavernous ballroom of Brooklyn's St. George Hotel, a combination of close and ambient microphone placement provides both great instrumental detail and room for the explosive orchestral sound.

Playing this CD was probably the zillionth time I've listened to the Rite, and I immediately played it again.

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