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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.


A recording made by Stravinsky is much more than a recording: it is a document. As such the four 12 inch discs recently released by Philips deserve our attention for their historical value as much as for their excellent listening. "I regard my recordings as indispensable supplements to the printed score" says the master. Clarity in tempo and rhythmic articulation are the essential elements in a Stravinsky recording (they should be in all music), and with the maestro in control orchestra, choir, and chamber ensemble perform with a precision which they themselves cannot match under another guiding hand. Don't be put off by the Ace-of-Clubs look: the pressing inside are what's important. For the listener who is keen but knows little of the master's work, I would suggest that he buy all four, and play bits of each. The rest should buy all four anyway.

In the middle of last year there was an influx of American Columbia discs. Among them was the set of Stravinsky's new revised Firebird, Le Sacre, and Petrovshka. The imposing photograph which figured on this set is the same one which appears on the Philips releases. But the Philips Firebird and Le Sacre are not from this set. They are the re-issue of a much older version made in 1953. The two versions are so unlike, however, in mood and even in substance (Stravinsky has rewritten quite a bit of both in the later version) that neither can be substituted for the other. The Philips release, KLG 2786, is the composer's closest commentary on other interpretations.