Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

STRAVINSKY: Octet / Dumbarton Oaks Concerto / Symphony in C / Symphony in 3 Movements

Philharmonia Orchestra, St. Luke's Orchestra Ensemble(s), Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble conducted Robert Craft

Naxos 8.557507 (Stravinsky/Craft, Vol. 10; 76 mins]

This is a marvellous compilation of reissues of Robert Craft's recordings of Stravinsky's neo-classical period, the recordings dating back to 1994-2001.

The touch is generally light, the performances assured and clearly recorded; everything is heard and well balanced. It is best taken in the order on disc, as I gave above. The first three items make a fine sequence, ravishingly beautiful, with no overloading.

The Symphony in 3 Movements does not in this account carry too much the weight of extra musical significance as a "war symphony", which has sometimes been placed on it. Clarity and faithful rendering of the score is all, Craft not seeking to impose a heightened individual "interpretation" as do some conductors.

Robert Craft's notes are very full and very interesting, and draw on his personal closeness to the composer; a missing manuscript of the second movement of the Symphony in C went long missing, and when it re-appeared, Stravinsky inscribed it to Craft.

An unbeatable bargain, not to be passed by.

Peter Grahame Woolf