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STRAVINSKY, I.: Apollo / Agon / Orpheus (Craft) (Stravinsky, Vol. 4)

Composer(s):Stravinsky, Igor
Artist(s) Craft, Robert, Conductor • London Symphony OrchestraOrchestra of St. Luke's
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Ballet
Catalogue 8.557502
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Stravinsky’s three ‘Greek’ ballets span thirty years of his creative career. Apollo, a 1947 revision of Apollon musagète (1928), is Stravinsky’s homage to the Greek concept of the unity of music, dance, painting, and poetry. It was described by Dyagilev as ‘an amazing work, extraordinarily calm and with greater clarity than anything he has done… music not of this world, but from somewhere above…’. Begun in 1953, when Stravinsky was turning towards serialism, the plotless Agon can be viewed as a contest (from the Greek agon) between traditional and modern compositional techniques. Orpheus (1948) mines a vein of lyricism hitherto absent in Stravinsky’s art and is the only score



Review By ,Limelight Magazine,May 2006

No other disc I've heard in the Robert Craft Collection so clearly illustrates Stravinsky's extraordinarty stylistic diversity. The graceful neo-classicism of Apollo (a 1947 revision of his 1928 ballet Apollon musagète) creates a gentle, idealised image of Greek mythology far removed from the hard-edged yet soulfully expressive world of Orpheus (1948). However, it is the astringent sonorities and constantly changing moods of the serialist-influenced Agon, completed when Stravinsky was 74, that has the most dramatic impact. As with all the releases in this magnificent series, the performances are excellent.

Review By ,Scherzo,September 2005


Review By Scott Cantrell,The Dallas Morning News,July 2005

Spanning three decades, these are three of the masterpieces born of the long and fertile partnership between Stravinsky and ballet master George Balanchine. . . . It's good to have the three together in suave and beautifully recorded performances conducted by Stravinsky's assistant-amanuensis Robert Craft.


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