Stravinsky : Symphonies

Stravinsky : Symphonies

19.00

Ernest Ansermet conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Decca SXL 2237

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) :
A - Symphony In C Major (composed in 1940)
B - Symphony in Three Movements (composed in 1945)

Recorded in April 1960 at Victoria Hall in Geneva by Roy Wallace.

It is well known that the mature Stravinsky was candidly scathing about some of his early compositions. However, he did subscribe a measure of academic value to his very first symphony, if only to show how one should not compose. In the following decades he wrote his so-called neo-classical symphonies, but these too found no mercy in the eyes and ears of avant-garde extremists, and are thus among the most underestimated orchestral compositions of the 20th century.

The new aspiration to write with clarity and simplicity, and so turning away from late-romantic and impressionistic expression, is already found in the key of C major, which has no accidentals. But the compositional technique is tricky: sharp polytonal melodies grow out of tonal islands, which, however never result in pleasant-sounding cadences even after numerous attempts to do so.

The Symphony in Three Movements, too, breaks with tradition as regards its formal structure, which Stravinsky himself regarded as "naïve". All the more intricate, however, is the ingenios melodiousness, which is unfolded with ballet-like rhythms by the whole orchestra.

This fresh, bold music definitely needs to be performed by an astute and dauntless ensemble – such as Swiss Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet, an ardent champion of modern works.

The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com