STRAVINSKY: Petrushka. Jeux de Cartes.
"NORDIC AFFECT H e (a) r"
Valery Gergiev is a Stravinsky specialist. His many recordings incude multiple versions of Le sacre du printemps and Firebird, some on video. The two Mariinsky Ballet video productions were mentioned on this site (REVIEW) Now we have this brilliant issue of the composer's Petrushka presented in the original 1911 version. The performance was recorded January 14, 2014 in St. Petersburg's MMariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Jeu de cartes dates from even earlier, from three concerts in December 2009 in the same venue. The rich orchestral sound has been superbly aptured by the engineers, with ev3ery detail of Stravinsky's scores clearly defined. A major addition to the Gergiev discography!
Nordic Effect is an Icelandic performance group that has been acclaimed on the contemporary music scene. Here is their third disk for Sono Luminus, titled H e(a) r. There are 12 tracks with the titles H e (a) r, Spirals, Warm life at the foot of the Iceberg, Reflections, Impressions, , Point of Departure, and Loom. Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir is artistic director, violinist and director of the ensemble. She wrote the 7 works titled He(a) . rAlso there are pieces by Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir, Mirijam Tally, Anna Thorvalasdottir, and Hildur Guonadottir. Instr uments are violin, cello, harpsichord, all of whom have brief speaking parts Detailed program notes discuss each track and its relationship with the universe The recording was made September 2017 in Sono Luminus Studios in Boyce, Virginia. This is very much a mult-channek affair and a diagram shows location of each instrument. This recording supposedly should be experienced via high quality headphones. On a regular SACD playback system it is impressive in its own way, ultra-clear and well-defined. The same program is on each disk, the second Blu Ray audio. This "music" is nothing I wish to hear again. Approach with the greatest caution!!
R.E.B. (July 2019)