I know that the twelve notes in each octave and the variety of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust” – Igor Stravinsky
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON PRESENTS THE FIRST EDITION OF STRAVINSKY’s COMPLETE PUBLISHED WORKS
This October sees the release of the first edition of Stravinsky’s complete published works on CD. Presented by Deutsche Grammophon, this 30-CD box set will celebrate one of the greatest composers of the 20th-century and explores his music way beyond The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. For anyone who wishes to experience the rich, diverse flavours of 20th-century music, this box is a must – an almost bewildering array of compositional approaches, all underpinned, however, by an innate Russianness.
The label’s connection with Stravinsky goes all the way back to 1935, when the composer recorded his Violin Concerto, with Samuel Dushkin as soloist, on Deutsche Grammophon. The idea for the Edition came in the 1990s, however, when it was decided to extend and complete the already rich discography of Stravinsky recordings on DG. Many of the recordings included in this set have already achieved legendary status: Abbado’s Pulcinella, Bernstein’s Les Noces featuring the A–Z of pianists (Argerich and Zimerman, as well as Katsarsis and Francesch), Anne-Sophie Mutter’s interpretation of the Violin Concerto, Philip Langridge’s moving account of the title role in Oedipus rex, and Sir John Gielgud and Tom Courtenay’s enactment of The Soldier’s Tale.
From the 1990s, Pierre Boulez’s celebrated interpretations of the early ballets and orchestral works with the great orchestras of Cleveland and Chicago add lustre to the new box set; during the same period Oliver Knussen added to the repertoire of rare ballets and late works. In the new edition, there are also rare late works conducted by Stravinsky’s long-time assistant Robert Craft; and some new recordings of miniatures and rarities, both for piano and for voices.
The edition also includes two CDs of recordings with historical value – from the Violin Concerto under the composer himself, to two classic accounts of early ballets from Ansermet and Monteux, conductors intimately associated with Stravinsky during his lifetime. The Yellow Label concludes the set with the sensational Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim 2014 recording of the piano-duet arrangement of The Rite of Spring.
Igor Stravinsky died four decades ago, at the age of 88. His composing career spanned more than seven decades and showed an astonishing development of style and transformation of musical language during that time. He wrote some of the most revolutionary and memorable works in the history of the 20th century music. Today his rhythmic and harmonic innovations continue to inspire composers, whether Minimalists or composers of motion-picture soundtracks.
This is the first time Stravinsky’s published works are presented in a single set, offering the opportunity to explore the evolution of his musical language and to evaluate his lasting influence on music.