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Reviews: Stravinsky: The Firebird - Litton

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Reviews: 4

Site review by Castor March 10, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

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Review by emaidel January 13, 2012 (15 of 22 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This recording is simply awesome. The orchestra plays like crazy under the brilliant direction of Litton, resulting in a "Firebird" that will satisfy just about anyone, and for every reason: both in terms of performance, and sonics. The disc jacket states "Resolution: 44.1KHZ/24-bit," which might upset those who listen with their eyes, but the sound of the recording should delight anyone.

Old-timers like myself fondly recall the 1978 release of Telarc's "Firebird Suite," conducted by Robert Shaw, with a bass drum that sounded like no other bass drum ever recorded. That recording has been updated (in 2000) with a DSD-remastered SACD, and the bass drum still impresses, but the rest of the instruments don't fare quite as well.

This BIS disc has enough bass drum "thwacks" to satisfy anyone, though not always where expected. The finale of "The Firebird" will rattle one's bones, however. What impresses the most is the glorious sound of the rest of the orchestra, and the masterful conducting by maestro Litton (who has impressed the snot out of me on numerous other discs, both SACD and CD).

Most highly recommended!

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Review by mekduk February 7, 2012 (5 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Can't imagine the single person who voted NOT to recommend this. Please get your ears checked or something must be wrong with your system.

Very good BIS signature recording which is highly transparent, has great dynamics and sounds its best on multichannel set up.

About the performance, Litton and orchestra have once again executed the whole piece brilliantly. A sonic treat and definitely a must-listen recording, especially if you're into Stravinsky's work.

If you have listened to the Petrushka and Rite of Springs, also from BIS and you're loving it, this piece is really worth buying.

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Review by Luukas January 22, 2015 (1 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Stravinsky's "The Firebird" is my own favorite from his ballets. Its style is Romantic, and Stravinsky's written style comes in full bloom.
This disc continues - but hopefully doesn't concluded - Andrew Litton's Stravinsky Series with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. This team's previous issue - "The Rite of Spring" and "Petrushka" - got many acclaimed awards, such as Gramophone's "Shortlisted" price. It was marvelous, but it couldn't beat Esa-Pekka Salonen's interpretation with Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (DG).
Anyway, this "The Firebird" is my first SACD of this work. I had already a BBC Music Magazine's CD in my bookshelf, but this is much better.
This recording uses DSD (Direct Stream Digital) technology, which is our generation's pleasure: I can almost hear EVERY INSTRUMENTS when I listen this disc. BIS label's multi-channel mix is wonderful: it is surrounding, natural and clear. Andrew Litton leads us to "The Firebird's" wonderland, he really loves this score.
Ballet's Finale is this disc's culmination: the first horn's magical sound is lovely!* Litton builds its climax effectively, and the score's last pages are breathtaking. My subwoofer switched on (sometimes) when bass drum strike's its powerful shots, and Grieg Hall's acoustic surrounds me. Outstanding disc for all Stravinsky fans!

*) I have wild imagination. Finale's horn melody remembers Narnia (if you have watched the movies) ;)

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