DEFINITIVE RECORDINGS
Stravinsky - Rite of Spring


IGOR STRAVINSKY - The Rite of Spring - Petrushka (1911 edition) - Andrew Litton (Conductor) - Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra - 7318599914749 - Released: March 2011 - BIS SACD1474

BIS Records have once again raised the sonic bar and released a truly spectacular sound recording of two important works by Igor Stravinsky. The two ballet scores to Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. On a scale of 1 to 10 for sound quality, I would have to give this one a 12. Not only is there muscle, and plenty of it, but there is also tons of detail. I hear notes in this recording that I have never heard before.

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrew Litton are giving the other orchestral big boys a run for their money. They may not convey the wild and savage imagery that a limited few achieve, but they make up for it in atmosphere, color, rhythmic precision and adrenaline pumping velocity. A case in point is the final minute of the Dance of the Earth segment of the Rite of Spring. Here they easily overtake other orchestras for pinpoint accuracy combined with unbelievable speed.

This recording begs to be played loud. From the softest flute note to the loudest bass drum thwack, the speakers spring to life and reproduce as realistic a recording as you will ever find. And I've only listened to it on a plain old regular CD player through a plain old set of stereo speakers. So be careful. If you are planning on playing this CD on a high-end SACD surround sound system, you may accidentaly offer your family members as a sacrifice to the gods.

Jean-Yves Duperron - April 2011