Le Sacre Du Printemps/Petrouchka

作曲 Igor Stravinsky , 指揮 Pierre Monteux , オーケストラ Boston Symphony Orchestra
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The amount of sheer history present in this release threatens to overwhelm its musical value. Monteux conducted the world premieres of both of these works, and these recordings commemorate returns to the orchestra he had directed just after the First World War. Petruschka, in sparkling 1959 stereo, lacks the violence and visionary character heard in some of the best performances (like Stokowski/Philadelphia). But its clarity and musical impulse are really treasurable, and combined with the playing of the great orchestra they make for a memorable version even though it leaves some things unsaid. The Rite of Spring is 1951 mono, but the clarity of the recording and its impact hold up surprisingly well. If you want sheer viciousness (a worthwhile quality in this music) look for the deleted Dorati/Minneapolis Mercury CD. For a performance that treats this piece for its musical values, Monteux is extremely gratifying. It's difficult to believe the legend that the conductor didn't like this music! RCA's new remastering is marginally clearer than the previous RCA Gold Seal addition, and the price is right. --Leslie Gerber