STRAVINSKY Petrushka/ Chailly 4737312

This is a great little set, coupling a ravishing "Apollon musagète" with a truly stunning "Rite of Spring". The "Petrushka" is equally fine . . . a remarkably fine recording where clarity and tonal bloom are complementary, but Chailly must take the credit for laying all Stravinsky's cards on the table rather than holding this or that detail to his chest. Everything tells, much as it does in the "Scherzo fantastique" -- whether the euphonious winds and brass at 3'52", the motorised repeated notes later on or the ornamental swirlings that, in stylistic terms, dance us all the way from Rimsky's "Arabian Nights" to the ­- unmistakably Russian world of "The Firebird". "Apollon musagète" is something else again, and Chailly takes the lyrical line, pointing without punching and allowing his excellent strings their head. The coda is jaunty, the "Apothéose" suitably mysterious, and "Variation d'Apollon" features fine solo work from the orchestra's leader, Jaap van Zweden . . . Chailly balances gracefulness with tonal substance and the sound is glorious.

. . . [Riccardo Chailly] dirige en chef de théâtre un Concertgebouw de rêve, renouant avec les sauts et les gambades de l'opera buffa, dont il propulse l'irrésistible mécanique. Il fait de Pulcinella une partition très rossinienne avec la complicité d'un beau trio vocal -- surtout Anna Caterina Antonacci, magnifique, et William Shimell, débordant de verve parodique.