Stravinsky: “The Firebird” – Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet
Ernest Ansermet’s long friendship with Igor Stravinsky enabled him to witness the birth of some of the composer’s most important creations. This proved to be of incalculable worth in his interpretation of the works he premiered for Stravinsksy.
Here Ansermet directs the OSR in a performance of Stravinsky’s The Firebird. It is the composer’s first major ballet, brought him world fame and continues to gain in popularity to this day. The story – which combines the motifs of several Russian fairy tales with a magic Firebird, a vanishing castle, an evil magician, and a hero who saves the maiden – inspired Stravinsky to write some of his most fascinating and mysterious music.
The OSR is fully equal to its fine reputation. Ernest Ansermet’s competence as an interpreter is evident throughout.
Acoustically, this pressing offers advantages over the original. Here the orchestra resonates with a full, natural and mellow sound that blossoms into a veritable garden of tonality extending around and behind the loudspeakers.
This new edition of Stravinsky’s The Firebird is a true stereophonic delight.
Recording date and venue: May 1955 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace / Production: James Walker