This is a terrific recording of music that is a foundation for 20th century music:
Stravinsky: The Firebird
Piano Concerto No. 3, BB 127, Sz. 119, with Yefim Bronfman (piano)
The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 (suite)
Romeo and Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64b (excerpts)
All performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev conducting.
Thismis an explosive program of Stravinsky, Bartók and Prokofiev – repertoire that always fires Gergiev’s imagination – this live recording captures a major milestone in the Orchestra’s history. The first LSO Live release made outside of the Orchestra’s Barbican home, it showcases the very best music-making that Gergiev and the LSO can produce.
Stravinsky’s Firebird was an instant hit with audience and critics alike at its 1910 premiere it is a constant in Gergiev’s repertoire.
The Piano Concerto No 3 is Bartók’s final work, completed only four days before he succumbed to a long battle with leukaemia. The New York Times found Yefim Bronfman’s interpretation of Piano Concerto No 3 “brilliantly charismatic” and he is an acknowledged master of the great Hungarian’s music, winning a Grammy award for his 2009 recording of all three Bartók Piano Concertos.
‘The Miraculous Mandarin’, performed here in the suite version, is dramatic, mysterious and sinister. Incredibly entertaining, it’s now one of Bartók’s most well-known works and never fails to lure the listener into a deep, dark world of seduction and horror.
The LSO’s performance of the work on tour was met with critical acclaim: Closing the album is the encore from the concert, excerpts from Prokofiev’s incredibly popular ballet ‘Romeo & Juliet’. That Gergiev chose this work to close his farewell concerts is not surprising, as the music and its composer have special signficance for the conductor and for the LSO.
Here is Stravinsky’s Firebird: